When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong: Cyber Punks
I’m new to Twitter. I seriously just signed up this year because I’m a Facebook junkie. I’ve been on Facebook since Facebook was The Face Book (or something like that). I declined Twitter sign-up for years because I just didn’t see the point AND who has the time?! I’m already managing one social network platform that monopolizes about 20% (or more) of my day. Adding another would literally bring nothing but bad to my world. Like loss of income or depriving my kid of snack time. I simply didn’t think I had the bandwidth to add one more thing to my day.
BUT, my husband and friends all use the platform. They swore that it was the coolest thing. You get access to some of your favorite people, fan updates, cool bloggers and more. It’s like “instant messaging with the stars,” one friend said. So, I signed up. I made the leap. Hell, telling me that I could send Lance Gross (@LanceGross) or Michael Ealy (@MichaelEaly) a personal, “Good Morning” and they just might respond is enough to make me do anything. And, I love the HILARIOUS commentary that happens between my friends. I mean pure comedy is coming from my boy @TheofletcherII. Follow him. Even if you don’t know him. You’re bound to laugh as much as I do at his wildly inappropriate (not mean spirited), sometimes inspiring and but OH SO good tweets.
While I’ve enjoyed Twitter, I’ve also witnessed its dark side. It seems that people are willing to say the most ridiculous, insane, hurtful, disrespectful, fight-worthy things. Just yesterday my absolute favorite stylist to follow Shun Melson (@ShunMelson) tweeted, “KIDLESS tonight! Gonna open a bottle of @kimzolciak VIVA moscato!” along with a picture of the her fave libation. Cute right? Pretty normal tweet, right? Nothing out of the ordinary especially since Kim Zolciak is her client and very good friend. Well … some chick (note: I’ll say chick though I want to say b*tch, however I reserve the use of that word for when I’m face to face with a b*tch. I ain’t no punk, ya heard me) replies, “Damn Kim must actually pay you as much as you up her azz … j/k.” Now, that’s that sh*t I don’t like. Who’s talking to you, lil girl?! You following Shun on HER page and gone respond with some useless hater fooleywang like that. Shun making her money, honey. She not worried about what some chick with 16 followers has to say about her on Twitter, but it still irritated me. How worthless is your life that you feel the need to pop off like that at someone you don’t know?! What’s even the point of being negative toward someone that has never been disrespectful to you?
The case that has me most on edge and outraged is the Chris Brown / Jenny Johnson EPIC twitter battle. If you haven’t heard about it, you MUST live under a rock. Do better, ok? There’s an app for that, but I digress. To sum it up:
- CB tweeted something about looking old for 23
- JJ responded that’s what happens when you’re a “worthless piece of sh*t”
- CB responded with something about taking teeth out, sucking penis and called her a “hoe”
- JJ replied “it’s ho, you ignorant sh*t”
- CB said something about defecation and flatulence
- JJ replied something about his mother being proud
The battle ended with CB shutting down his Twitter page and JJ declaring hollow victory over the coward she “confronted”. She even began to receive death threats from Team Breezy (i.e. Chris Brown fans). She took to Twitter saying how disturbing it is for people to embrace a woman beater and IMMEDIATELY began to play the victim role.
Now … I have a problem with the entire exchange. Here are my issues with both participants in this stupid situation:
- Jenny Johnson is incredibly disrespectful and immature to attack someone using Twitter. Everyone knows she’d never say those cruel things to his face. She feels real big and bold behind a keyboard somewhere in a gated community and THAT is cowardly. You don’t have to like Chris Brown or respect him given his past indiscretion; BUT you don’t get to attack him and then stand on a soapbox to say you abhor people who attack. That’s ridiculous and it’s violent. Words just as easily incite violence as physical blows. She’s a hypocrite. You want to advocate for the end of domestic violence like an adult then volunteer at a shelter for abused women. Donate money to a DV cause. Don’t haphazardly attack folks online and call it comedy to hide how hideous your actions are. She’s a bully and there is NOTHING that cooks my grits more than a bully. Also, I vehemently disagree with people sending her death threats and find that behavior BEYOND reprehensible, but what does one expect when you invite that energy into your life? *pause for deep thought and reflection*
- Chris Brown is an idiot. Pure and simple. He’s 23. He responded the way a 23-year-old does except he seems to forget that he’s a multi-millionaire with MILLIONS of young impressionable fans that would follow him to the ends of the earth. He needs to grow up and learn better conflict resolution skills. Is this because his father wasn’t in the home?! Does the boy not have ANYBODY around that can help him channel all of this ridiculous aggression?? And WHY IN THE HELL does he feel the need to respond to someone who doesn’t sign his checks?!?! Can someone PLEASE direct Chris Brown to have SEVERAL seats? Remind him that if he wants to keep the career that God restored after his EPIC life failure in 2009, then he must do better. Stop throwing chairs after interviews at Good Morning America. Stop acting like a brat every time someone says something you don’t like. GROW UP! You’re a public figure. People will be harsh about EVERYTHING you do from this point on because you’re an easy target and YOU opened that negative door in 2009. As Iyanla Vanzant (@IyanlaVanzant) would say, “Boo. Let’s take responsibility for our actions. Let’s put your big boy underwear on and face the situation YOU created.” You will never be able to move past it. You will die one day, hopefully a great performer with a long career, and the media will say, “Chris Brown. Amazing talent. Some even likened him to Michael Jackson. Known for his 2009 domestic attack on former pop sensation, Rihanna.” It is what it is. Man up and learn to deal so that you can keep your career because now you’ve tatted yourself up to the point that your only career option is fast food if this music thing doesn’t pan out. #IJS
Lastly, Elizabeth Hasselbeck (@ehasselbeck) of ABC’s The View (@theviewtv) called Chris Brown’s response, “Verbal rape.” If you didn’t see The View commentary, check it out here. That infuriated me. Why? Because people who misuse the term “rape” have obviously never experienced it. Well I have and it makes me damn mad that she would be so cavalier with that word in her desire to express how displeased she is with Chris Brown. Was he stupid and disrespectful? Yes. This was no “verbal rape”, Mrs. Hasselbeck. It was an immature, cowardly verbal exchange. It was two people who obviously have issues with decency and respect. It was a two-way exchange of which both are responsible. Don’t misuse the word rape. You have a platform from which millions of women gather to consume your thoughts. You should be more responsible to them and more respectful of the platform. You know better.
People listen to me. Twitter and other social platforms are cool pastimes. They offer very exhilarating connections to celebrities and a host of other interesting things in life; however, just like in life, you have a responsibility to conduct yourself with respect. You also have a responsibility to respect others as well. A little confrontation keeps the blood alive so having a difference of opinion, respectfully, with someone over social media is okay; but using the platform to have “thug thumbs” as Big Boi (@BigBoi) so elegantly coined yesterday afternoon on Atlanta’s V103 (@V103Atlanta) is wrong. Don’t say things online you would NEVER say in person. Hell, don’t be mean in person either. Just … don’t use these social mediums to attack or bully other people. It’s wrong!! Let’s end this punk fooleywang now, shall we? Before a really ugly sea change like cyber bullying ending in suicide or murder becomes the norm. Now … THAT’S that sh*t I won’t like.
Be better, people … to yourself and one another.