I will be honest and say that this past week has been pretty toxic for me on Twitter. The bad behavior of celebrities, gender politics, racism, sexism and every other -ism out there has increased my volume of snarkiness from 1 all the way up to 11.
Please tell me you get that reference.
If not, then I want to get the last bit of this snideness out of me by saying: What rock have you been living under, and how come you have not watched "This Is Spinal Tap" yet?
Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I want to redirect my focus on spreading positive vibes in the world. There is a plethora of people I follow on Twitter who make a conscious effort each day to be rude, foul-mouthed, condescending, snarky (there goes that word again) and full of bitter criticism towards others. Now, I will openly admit that I have had my fair share of crass tweets about random celebrities and personal frustrations with TV shows like (cough) "The Nerdist" that continue to depict non-Black nerds on their program.
But: I saw someone tweet a link to this Tumblr page. The #BeKind Challenge was featured on the page and I was intrigued. Here is an excerpt from the site:
For 30 days (August 19- September 18), you are committing to use Twitter for meaningful engagement. This means dialogue and interaction without ANY “shade,” “reading,” ”dragging,” etc. Instead of bashing what you don’t like/love, you will promote what you like/love. You will give your energy to and use your platform for those things ONLY.
The #BeKind challenge includes not playing “The Dozens”/not roasting. It includes not RTing or reposting “mean” things also. Memes included.
There is a difference between critical commentary/critiquing and being mean-spirited. We are mature enough to know what is intended to be mean and hurtful and what is intended as a critique. Yes, satire can be a form of critique. Police yourselves when it comes to this during this challenge. When using satire during this challenge, be clear on your intentions and avoid insults.
We are adults. We know when we are behaving badly. We know we can do better. This challenge is simply a reminder.
The last sentence resonates with me the most, because I know some of the mean things I say on Twitter come from a selfish place, and it’s simply me being childish. I don’t tweet malicious or vile content, but every now and then I may say a sarcastic remark that may not sit well with others. I also find that I inadvertently may offend someone who likes a person or thing that I dislike. I will be honest: This challenge will be incredibly difficult, and I hope that I can make it through the full 30 days. What I propose is that everyone try to use the #BeKind hashtag and tweet constructive and substantive content in the Twittersphere.
Yes, there always is a place for shenanigans in the world of Twitter, because just like social circles in real life, you have conversations with people that are valuable and fundamental. You also have conversations that are shallow and self-indulgent. I challenge you to take part in the #BeKind challenge. I am also willing to take full accountability if I slip up every once in a while.
Consider this a diet, if you will. A diet of clean eating and no junk food for 30 days.
Can you #BeKind on Twitter?