Hey Facebook “friends
“I have some REAL questions…..
If you can comment on a post what prevents one from sharing it? If you can show someone some love on the street about what they post how is it that you’ve never liked or shared anything from that person but you like it so much? What are the reasons?
As a person that works online and as a result consumes a lot of news online and easily shares a whole lot of stuff from a whole of sources I am clearly oblivious to people’s obsession with “protecting their wall.”
Is there a need to protect the wall because our social media accounts is a public reflection of us? Do we call ourselves safeguarding our image for current or potential employers? Are we concerned with revealing our views in fear of being judged or criticized? Maybe even fired and embarrassed. Are we naturally not really interested in helping each other with diversity of thought or are we too scared to? Is it really too much for us to show love to our friends and virtual friends to give them a boost broadening their audience by sharing their posts? Forget broadening audiences, what about just sharing something that caught my eye because I agreed or disagreed? What about using the internet for the information source that it is and spreading that information? Why do we like and support posts flaunting naked daughters, aunts and mothers and us being violent and negative by abundance but like posts that feature positive images and stories, a friends new business venture, or encouragement of dialogue only a limited instances? We like people posing with celebrities, pictures of food, and celebrity gossip but we don’t like redistributing knowledge, promoting thought and dialogue. Who has time to read these days? In 2016 we live in a fast paced, microwavable society that takes high interest in violence, sex, and negative images that possibly make us laugh even if it makes a mockery and poor representation of us that is false. A person once told me that they did not share my posts because they do not share anything on Facebook because they get on to skim through and then they get right off. My question there is if you have time to like something, is that not the same effort and time as clicking share about that same something? I also had a person tell me that it “is weird to share people’s stuff,” another person said “I like your stuff but if I shared it, people are going to think that I agree.”Are we  really protecting our walls and what from? What brand our we really safeguarding?
Code switching- the practice of alternating between two or more languages or varieties of language in conversation.
Code switching. I like that word. As a African American from the inner city of Cleveland, Ohio I found myself being encouraged to partake in such act often. I attended a nearly all white high school freshman year of high school. I graduated from a PWI, (predominantly white institution) at Ohio University and then I went on to teach, work in corporate America and the film industry, so I know all about being outnumbered. I don’t know about you but for me I do not like being outnumbered. When I was younger this made me uncomfortable and to decrease the uncomfortability I chose to attempt to “fit in.” I did this by code switching. For those that do not know, it basically meant I tried to be more like the majority to make the majority feel more comfortable but really I was the one that was uncomfortable. For some reason this reminds me of what being black in America and getting stopped by the police feels like. It’s safer to code switch or it is supposedly safer. You wouldn’t want to appear threatening and risk everything so it’s much better and less confrontational just cooperating with the standards set forth to you by others. Some way to live with dignity right?
Code switching. We do it at work, we do it at school, we do it at court, in routine traffic stops, heck maybe even the grocery store. Tune that base down in your voice when you’re speaking outside of your comfort zone with friends and family. Fix your English. Do not be “ghetto or ratchette.” It’s not, ” what’s good bruh,” or “hey girl what’s on the agenda today?” It’s “Good Morning sir,” and “Hi, Ms. Kline what would you like for me to do today?” Sure respect and professionalism is a very real thing but who’s setting that standard for everyone? Is professionalism cemented in vernacular and dialect? Are the two universal or are their subcultures and dialects? Can what you find offensive or wrong be the same for me or vice versa? What are the mental ramifications of code switching? How does it make YOU feel? Do you feel yourself suppressing more and more of yourself for the benefit and approval of others? Is that what our military veterans risked life and limb for? For the suppression of free speech and for people to be condemned for exercising their freedoms. Considering how the media and  others have harshly criticized Colin Kaepernick, Brandon Marshall and others that use their freedoms I would say that it greatly appears that they all died for something else. Perhaps they died for symbolism but not legitimacy. To expose that would be unpatriotic and can not only cost you money but also your reputation.
Is America really a free country? When code switching, when is it safe to turn off and when must you turn it on? Many of us understand the popular switch in person but with the emergence of the internet in the last 20 years, the switch has become an expectation online as well. Code Switching obviously deals with language but I would argue that it also has impacted written word and the expression of speech in the digital world. For many people, they elect to use a switch on their Linkedin pages, as compared to their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages. However, the push for censorship and the backlash that expressing one’s thoughts can bring on someone, has made it an obvious “need” for a switch on those accounts as well. Today employers look up potential employee’s social media’s which now impacts one’s future and livelihood. If you say the wrong thing or what is perceived as the wrong thing to others, there is a high chance that the post will be screenshot, emailed, cc’ed and faxed to your Supervisor, General Manager and owner of the company you work for. Just recently Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos was dropped from a brand that he endorsed because of his use of speech. This may be fair but what about if your posts are free of hate speech or even vulgarities? Perhaps it’s a post on racism, sexism, poverty, politics or any other hot topic? Should you play it safe, keep it to yourself and not take the risk of offending anyone? Where is the line drawn when expressing objectivity? In 2016 America why is it encouraged to be more objective than subjective? After the facts are gathered why must we still refrain from expressing our subjectivity in a public space without public disgrace and shame? 
“It’s tough because I didn’t read all the comments. I had so many comments on Twitter and Instagram, I couldn’t go through all of them. I had a lot of positive text messages, but as far a social media, I had a lot of negative, racist comments. A lot of people calling me the ‘N’ word and calling me all kind of derogatory terms. It is what it is. There is a lot of hate out there. I’m not here to spread hate or negativity, I’m here to spread positivity.”~ Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos
What is Facebook etiquette? Should you really think about posting #alllivesmatter before doing so? What if you want to say #blacklivesmatter or repost a meme that says something that may offend a Conservative? Should you care if you are a Liberal? Is your  Facebook a REAL direct reflection of you, your likes, your interests and thing that catch your eye or is your wall just a stale, safe but inaccurate display of what you want the world to perceive you as? Do you protect your wall because what you post or repost will linger on with you in your cyber file for the rest of your life? So much for deleting tweets and Facebook posts when the damage can be monumental in a matter of seconds. Earlier this month Ferguson Activist, Darren Seals was murdered, joining others such as Sandra Bland, who was also boldly active expressing controversial speech on social media. Did the lack of code switching get them killed? Do we have to restrict dense conversations to behind closed doors with our real friends? How much will a share or a like negatively impact us? Why are people so reluctant to share content that they genuinely are intrigued by? Is the fear so prevalent that it causes you to continue strolling or like in secrecy? Is that it or are we really too selfish to share?
Who know’s if it’s really about code switching and protecting a wall? Perhaps its for no deeper reason than a person choosing not to lift a finger to support a Facebook “friend.” That would be a lack of support which is a prevalent issue in our communities. As I sat this morning and looked at my anayltics from Facebook I could not help but to notice the disparity in the numbers. As I near 5k Facebook friends the level of support to my blog Facebook page and the activity of my blog posts to Facebook did not add up to sound math to me. I then pondered heavily on what the disparities meant and why they were present. Maybe a person don’t necessarily want to be a ghost online follower but like I discussed above, they have fear of showing support through shares as they don’t want your post to be a reflection of their thinking. Another possibility could be that they just really do not get how to support or they don’t give a darn. Sadly, that may very well be the reason. If the ladder is the reason then we really ought to look into the mirror to analyze what we are doing to better our “friends,” our communities, our culture and ourselves. Stop the suppressing and be more like Colin and just illuminate fearlessly.
Personally if I consider someone a “friend,” it is no way I get on social media and not share my woe’s new work. Especially not when I share information from people I never even met. Some things just does not make sense or cents to me. What if your tweet could help grow a brand or your Facebook post can spark deep and necessary dialogue on important issues? Call it what you want, maybe even charity. It may be hard to believe that some thing as easy as hitting share can be real service for the day. Maybe it helps the person that you are sharing it from grow their audience; maybe it resonates with who sees it after you share it; or maybe just maybe its your way of doing what you can to help another brother or sister out for free. What then is a real good reason not to do that? We have to get in the habit of each one teach one and each one help one. That is the only real way we all can elevate each other. Why elevate selfishly or even fearfully? If I can share an article from CNN, I certainly can share my friend’s site that says the same thing right? But instead I elect not to because I don’t want the post to be a reflection of my personal ideas. That sounds legit but for many the real is that you did not bother to read the post that your “friend” posted anyway and besides no one is paying you for promotions so you figure why bother. I mean it’s not your job to help a social media “friend.”Our lack of support should not be misidentified as anything but what it is. You cannot call it protecting your wall but have many other things not consistent with that some protection that caused you not to share your friend’s work. With that being written, we should all SHARE this!
(The song, “Major Key” by Nas is a great song. You should listen to the lyrics.)
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