The Black Social Media Experience

No one on this planet can transform traumatic experiences into comedy like black people. Though the aforementioned is an amazing and entertaining coping mechanism, it is not exactly healthy, so to speak.

If we’re being realistic, the entire culture of social media is driven by the black experience and reaction. We are a network so strong that we can inadvertently skyrocket someone to stardom via exposure from expressing our disdain. Our memes get more respect and recognition than we do as a people. We CATAPAULT brands to fruition. We watch Hollywood and television writers steal our vernacular and nuance with little to no recognition, we consistently observe racism and violence against us, further desensitizing us (look at how reactions to civilian murders has declined) and as a result of real life and internet trauma, we bicker with and project issues onto one another almost to the point of obsession.

I guess the point I’m trying to make/question I’m trying to ask is this–

Has anybody ever thought about what social media does to the minds of black people?

Let’s examine.

I read a recent study that stated how 91% of all households are dysfunctional. Ninety-ONE. In addition to that, I also read that as a defense mechanism, subconsciously, we all either demonize or glorify our childhoods. I say all of that to segue into the fact that niggas have unresolved trauma and it shows on social media more than anywhere else. Every day there are drawn out arguments about subjective topics.

You aren’t special, we’re all fucked up.

See, when you’re black on social media there’s a sense of camaraderie and community based on relatability, but it’s a double-edged sword. Though we’ve created a safe space for our own, we’ve also created entire sectors of unity for hyper-sensationalized bullshit where people can bond over their trauma. So now, true feelings expressed as thinly veiled jokes are compounded and contrived into a narrative destructive to every-fucking-body. Honestly! If you look at basic psychology, you can find the basis for most of the shit that folks argue about on black twitter.

$200 dates, 40K ain’t rich, $100,000 or 830 credit score  = Lack of financial literacy and financial freedom in the black community thanks to a plethora of contributing factors, including socioeconomic oppression and racism as an institution

Niggas ain’t shit, men are trash, black men are the worst = Lack of a positive black male figure in the household, abysmal personal experiences with black men, possibly a toxic mother perpetuating a narrative

Bitches ain’t shit, get money fuck bitches, love no thot = Possibly a toxic mother, defense mechanism to protect emotions that one never acknowledged, let alone mastered, fear of being taken advantage of by a woman

Ass eating (male or female) toe sucking, BDSM, Body Count, LGBT = Sexual oppression coupled with a lack of intricate sexual education thus resulting in disgust and projection.

Can it all be so simple?

I recently read a study stating how retweets and likes release the same amount of dopamine in the brain as a small hit of cocaine. That’s more than enough of a feeling to create an addiction, an addiction based on a sickness– the need for outside verification. A sickness that’s been crippling mankind for centuries.

In a recent interview with TMZ, Kanye West stated that he got liposuction because he didn’t want the internet to call him fat at his wedding like they did Rob Kardashian. In an even more recent interview with Angie Martinez, J.Cole stated that during his return to social media for the release of his album, that he found himself checking his phone every minute and unable to look away. In “The Rachel Divide,” Netflix’s documentary about pseudo-black American Rachel Dolezal, one of the most striking parts of the narrative was how social media harassment (which I took part in with #AskRachel) was literally driving her to an emotional breakdown.

I used the previous examples to solidify just how fucked up this shit is. Gossip has compounded like a fucking exponent and has been accepted as a major platform for information. Here we have two brilliant millionaires and a woman receiving death threats and bricks through her window worried about what people are saying about them on the internet. All because of insecurity.

Even for secure people, prolonged exposure to social media creates insecurity because of consistent comparison. Comparison is the thief of joy! How can you enjoy your own life when you’re so worried about the lives of others? Others who are LYING at least half of the time.

In the fine words of Dave Chappelle, “You can’t care about anything when you know about everything.” After 15 years of social media consumption, I’ve come to a realization that this shit is frying our brains and changing our pattern of thinking for the worst. The black community has enough problems without the negative effects of social media. Even with evolution considered, we are not wired to take in this much information on a daily basis. It’s unhealthy to see so much negativity and contradiction consistently. I was recently on a date with a woman and she looked damn good, but for the duration of the drive, she was taking pictures of herself to post to Instagram. That platform is creating narcissists and an unrealistic view of life because unlike Twitter, no one on IG is posting themselves looking bad. It’s not so much our generation that I’m worried about, but rather this generation of instant gratification hungry, fame-seeking, flash in a pan teenagers and prepubescents up under us.

There was a point in my life where I lived off praise. I didn’t just care what others thought, I obsessed over it. I had to be the man and the king and the boss to everyone all because of my own lack of security.  In hindsight, I probably looked like a fool parading around with an impenetrable air of arrogance, masquerading it as self-righteousness, always preaching my greatness to the world. I don’t regret it though, because that’s who I was in that moment, and I had to learn. I had to lose everything to realize what matters the most–

Happiness, being with those you love, sticking to your word, being honest, and personal security.

Use social media responsibly, and in closing, I’m gonna tell ya’ll like Jeezy told me back in 05–

“Bitch, get ya mind right.”

from the we$t end with love,

-me

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