Saying something, saying nothing
Originally published in May 2022
I open my Twitter dialogue box, ready to unleash my bountiful rage on the enraging topic of the day.
Today it’s assholes wanting to revoke Roe v Wade.
I type a few words “I can’t express…”, “what the f…”, “they don’t care about…” deleting my words every single time and starting again, staring at my blinking cursor and hoping all my pent-up feelings will spill into the text box, in a succinct yet powerful statement that will most likely be liked by a couple of people.
I give up and switch tabs, knowing I’d just be regurgitating the words of skilled writers whom I agree with, and most importantly, realising that a tweet, even with an increased character count, would not allow me to convey all my thoughts on the topic. Don’t get me started on such thoughts in real life though, I’ll talk you into the ground.
The best I can do in these moments is repost someone else’s tweet on my Instagram story, saying something like “I can’t cope” or “my contempt grows and grows”. A pathetic addition to an already well-formed statement of disapproval.
It’s not the first time I’ve done this pointless exercise; grappling with the thought that I need to say something, anything, on social media. Of course I don’t feel that the absence of my voice will make people suddenly think I’ve gone all Republican on everyone’s ass; I fear that it seems like I don’t feel that strongly on the subject. The truth is quite the contrary.
I am a very opinionated person - and not in the way people say “I’m opinionated, deal with it” and start to spew some questionable views with an air of righteousness and arrogance. I’m opinionated in the way that I’ll debate lots of topics and often try and find common ground with someone. If not, I’ll try and put my argument across in a reasonable fashion, but I draw the line when it comes to injustice. I’ll call it out, as should everyone else (in my strong opinion).
So for me, a measly repost seems like a weak statement. Sometimes I don’t post at all (but be physically raging inside). Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether most people post or not. A lot of it is performative - showing people “look what side I’m on”, or it’s raising awareness for a cause not in the mainstream media. In this case, Roe v. Wade is very much in the media right now. So why do I feel like I’m letting the side down by not saying anything of note?
I wish I knew the answer.