[OPINION] To 'woke' people on Twitter: Turn online noise into action

Gone are the days when we only see food videos, cute animal clips, and encouraging posts on social media. Those have been replaced by self-serving posts and toxic conversations.

Days after the 2019 elections, social media was in chaos. People were posting how dismayed they were about the outcome.

On Twitter, tweets varied in form. Some posts blamed ‘uneducated’ voters for the new composition of the Senate while some encouraged people to move on from the polls and help the nation heal. (READ: [OPINION] Let us not call Filipino voters ‘bobo’)

With the aim of dispelling the notion that those who voted for the Hugpong ng Pagbabago slate were ‘stupid,’  a number of people took to Twitter to parade their academic achievements and explained why they voted for such candidates. (READ: [OPINION] Why academic achievements are not enough)

Toxic social media

Enough is enough. Twitter has become toxic. Some people took advantage of the conversation and went on to brag about their advanced degrees to challenge each other’s ideas. 

Then there were those people who posted rebuttals pointing out having a PhD was no guarantee of moral intelligence.

These did not solve anything.

While I like woke Twitter and its ability to let people speak up, using the platform just to make yourself feel superior makes some seem hungry for attention.

Shouldn’t the point of woke culture be to educate rather than to humiliate?

Being woke should emphasize how we understand a particular issue and then translate this to offline action.

Wokeness should mesh together the principles of educating and proposing. Go out and be the change you want to be. Right now, it seems people are missing out on the point of being woke.

What it means to be ‘woke’

I love how social media provided a platform to air our sentiments, becoming an avenue for social discourse. It gives people a chance to voice out their opinions.

Maybe it’s high time to assess if we’re using it the way it should be, though. Have we been using the platform for personal gain and not for the greater good?

Remember when we once used social media to save a fellow Filipino on death row? Back in April 2015, who would have thought that social media could become much more than a platform for selfies?

When news about the execution of the convicted Filipino drug mule Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia broke online, people saved her. Many joined the online movement #SaveMaryJane, which sparked a global conversation. On the night the Indonesian government announced it would execute her, petitioners held on to the tiniest inch of hope that they could save Mary Jane.

Before dawn of April 29, the miracle happened, and #MaryJaneLives.

Before we post on social media, let’s go back and check our intentions. The point of wokeness is to inform and educate people to make the world a better place. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.

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