Lazy “Journalism” and Messy “Writers”
Let me kick this off with CHEERS to the first social commentary post on my site. When I decided to get back into writing creatively and re-launch Dollf8ced.com, I knew that I did not want to limit my storytelling to fiction. As a child, and still to this very day, I was curious about the world outside my window, and the people in it. Over time, I've formed distinctive thoughts and impressions, read to attain knowledge, and had deeply personal experiences, some of which I choose to share as social media commentary.
Social networking makes information easy to come by. Through this medium, people absorb [mis]information, form opinions, misinterpret, misconstrue, disseminate, redistribute, and even steal original ideas. In the words of my friend Otishka, Looks & Life at Otishka.com, “residual information is a blessing and a curse of the internet.” Truer words have never been spoken. I mean there probably have been, but those words are right up there in the upper echelon of truisms. While accessibility is great for having information readily available in the palm of your hand, the downside is that regularly and consistently people abuse, manipulate, and/or dismiss information to serve their agendas – which leads me to the inspiration for my post today.
After I re-launched my website in August, I slowly cultivated my voice on social networking to forge a connection to my writing. I started from scratch with Twitter, saying “bye-bye” to an account with over 1,000 followers. That's not some crazy large number in Twitterverse, but it was a population I could have used if I was more interested in quantity, not quality. I wanted to gain a network of people genuinely interested in what I had to write about, so this baby nook is important to me and I am protective of The Mercurial Nesting Doll’s voice.
A few weeks after going live in August, the internet went into a frenzy regarding Yvonne Orji’s virginity. This was neither the first nor the second time she divulged that piece of information, but that's neither here nor there. Rather than dive into an objective discussion about virginity with respect to religion, people, by and large, chose to focus on her personal decision itself and apparently, how it affected their daily lives. To avoid coming off as hypocritical, I will admit I have partook in the chatting of that which does not pay my bills (e.g. "I can't stand cheaters and will talk about you till I don't want to", a post coming to a blog near you), however there are just some key topics that are reserved for:
On that day in particular, my eyes repeatedly rolled heavenward reading ad hominem attacks directed towards Ms. Orji. As a result, I shared the following tweets (read from the bottom up):
A bit later, I received notifications in response to the first tweet of the thread re: I think we can let Yvonne live her best life, and no other tweets. Now, had this been my other account it would have made sense to me. Considering there were no hashtags, I had only been tweeting under this moniker for roughly three (3) weeks, and had less than 50 followers, it was weird but I thought nothing of it. Throughout that day and the next, I received notifications from likes to RTs to comments. Some Tweeters like @JamesGottrey, JamesGottry.com, were respectful. But others I ignored altogether when it became abundantly clear that they were tweeting in response to a single tweet that they must have hastily read, without reviewing the thread further to gain context. Still, it didn't really explain why the responses were so negative when the initial tweet was basically “leave Yvonne out of it, have the discussion independent of her.” After reading one sexually derogatory tweet, I opted to mute the entire discussion altogether and shelved it forever.
Or so I thought.
Recently I discovered why some of the forgotten slithered into my mentions that fateful day.
Occasionally, I conduct an audit of my internet trail but had yet to search under the moniker for the new account. Before I wrote this post, a pretty savvy gentleman @MichellCClark, Michellcclark.com, advised tweeters to do the following:
So I searched Google News and found Twitter Unnecessarily Debates Yvonne Orji’s Virginity written by Jessica McKinney and published August 30. While I have seen tweets in online opinions before, it was a little interesting to see my new little account on Vibe.
Suddenly, a light bulb went off. My mind returned to all “the little engines that could” in my notifications and thought to myself, was this the reason it was "all aboard" at my tiny Twitter station? Because it appeared Ms. McKinney had done her due diligence, it did not make sense why the responses were mostly hostile. So I searched my @name on Google where lo and behold, there was quite a bit of tomscrewlery for my viewing pleasure.
The following offenders irresponsibly drafted half-baked opinions and embedded my Twitter account. Further, they took what was a clear series of tweets out of context and made the patently false assertion that yours truly was shaming Yvonne Orji.
Offender 1: The Writer behind People are shaming Yvonne Orji for being a 33-year-old virgin on Yahoo Beauty/Yahoo Lifestyle (@yahoobeauty or @yahoolifestyle) wrote “some reacted negatively, seemingly shaming the star over her personal choices.” How did Whoever You Are come to that illuminating conclusion when the tweet below was posted very close in time to the initial tweets on the very same day?
Yahoo’s reach and the writer’s lack of foresight is the likely explanation for why those tweets re-appeared in subsequent articles. Further, Yahoo was the first to publish on August 24th.
Offender 2: Nichole Cooper (@nicholesvoice) of the website Louder with Crowder wrote an acerbic mess that was so hard-hitting and mind-numbingly impressive, it needed two titles:
Thing 2: Twitter Trolls Attack Actress Yvonne Orji for Being a Virgin
Miss Cooper published on August 25th, meaning she had an entire day to do some actual work. I truly wonder if she was paid for this. For some reason she sat long enough on my Twitter to grab the conversation with @JamesGottrey, but not long enough to share her woefully misguided insults with me.
Yew mad? What did I do to you boo?
Who debates a partial statement lol? Maybe you know very little about history, sociology, anthropology, or basically anything ending in “ogy,” I don't know. What I do know and feel charitable enough to share with you, is not every discussion concerning gender is a “feminism” debate. Feminism is the advocacy for, and the advancing of, the rights of women and different from a discussion on the sociology of gender. Even further, it IS true that virginity and chastity are patriarchal constructs and reading a scholarly article or two would do wonders for you. Feel free to refer to the tweets I directed to you, you might learn something dear.
Offender 3: Amanda Prestigiacomo of The Dailywire wrote 33-Year-Old Actress Shamed For Choosing To Remain Virgin Until She Marries and included my tweet in another adaptation of “Shame and Mock” the Sequel: How to Copy & Paste in 3 days. This original expose was published by The Daily Wire on August 27th.
Thanks to all of these writers entire lack of common sense and willingness to do their job, I am able to share a few of my favorite notifications that I did not get to see because I muted that tweet back in August. Add the following to Nichole Cooper's passive aggressive "dumb*ss" quip I wish she could've tweeted loud and proud with her chest in my mentions, like she did in her ashy haiku:
As a writer and someone who likes to share my opinions, I am prepared for the negative commentary or vitriol that may come my way. However, that is altogether different from other writers taking content from Twitter accounts and potentially setting up those Tweeters for attack from a broader audience. They should be more careful and ask questions if they have no clue what they are writing about.
A big disappointment was many of these opinions barely had enough words to fill a page. The words of others on Twitterverse did the heavy labor. Instead of using the opportunity to become better writers by having a larger and more inspired discussion, the same content was rinsed, washed, and repeated on at least 10 more sites with little to no variable.
The only shining light in this new experience on my writing journey was Jessica McKinney (@Jigga_Jess) of Vibe. She showed regard for the content by properly curating tweets and drafting a more tailored opinion. Ms. McKinney clearly cared enough about the craft to do her due diligence and, as a result, maintained her integrity as a writer.
Thank you Jessica for being the only one to have some damn compunction. It shows!