On my flight back to the west coast I was listening to an episode of The Friend Zone. The topic of conversation was things the needed to be ditched in 2018 and replaced with an improved alternative.
I wanted to join the conversation by naming two major things I’d like to see ditched in 2018.
The first would be saying social media is “just an app”, the idea of thinking your followers are just 'followers'. I think social media has proven itself to be an extremely powerful tool. In my personal opinion, I think it’s time to view mutual followers as apart of our own extended network. There are a ton of opportunities out there and you may be just one mutual follower away from the job you want. Studies show that your close network of friends won’t provide opportunities as frequently as your extended network. In 2018, I would love to see more conversations online about how we can support one another both in our creative endeavors as well as professionally.
The second would be the instant reaction to “cancel” everything. I’ve noticed that a lot of people online who have had the opportunity of higher education have a tendency to chastise and dismiss people when they make inappropriate comments rather than taking the opportunity to educate. There is this unnecessary elitism that comes along with being 'woke' in certain online spaces which I see as a potential hindrance to really mobilizing Blk folk as a collective. I think when you’ve reached a certain level of education and “wokeness” that it’s somewhat a responsibility to educate those who haven’t had the opportunity to receive the education or live the experiences you've lived.
Don’t get me wrong, If you’ve taken the time to educate someone and they still continue to talk out the side of their neck, then by all means “cancel” them, but as I continue to talk to more people outside of academia about black liberation and polarized issues (LGTBQ/gentrification/etc) I realised that there needs to be some form of education before you actively dismiss someone for an inappropriate comment.
I'm sure there are a ton of other things that should be ditched in 2017 but those are my personal top two. In the comments below tell me what you're ditching and replacing in the new year! You can also join the conversation via Twitter.