Hashtag activism is annoying. You know what it is. It’s when an issue takes over social media and you’re told how to think, act and feel about that issue. If you don’t conform, you face the wrath of those seemingly more informed on that issue. Look, I get that we need to challenge the status quo. I support that. But what I don’t support is this condescending idea that everything you do is wrong unless it’s done in the way that these online communities tell you it should be done. They say: “Feminism is great but here’s an article about why your type of feminism is not great” or “Being ‘woke’ is cool but if you don’t do this to acknowledge your privilege then you’re not ‘woke’ enough” or “Being a progressive Latina is excellent but you’re not truly progressive until you use the word ‘Latinx’.
Nothing is ever enough and everything you know and do is wrong, basically. This is also a mindset for people in academia, of which I have known and interacted with many. People who perceive themselves to be smarter, more informed and savvier than most. So, does being well informed mean you have to be angry, demeaning and contradictory about everything? Does it mean you’re better? And everyone else is just stupid? How exhausting it must be to be so angry all the time about everything.
In a philosophy course I took, the teacher asked, “Would you rather be happy and naïve or miserable and informed?” I chose miserable and informed because I’m a masochist. But seeing how things have developed in the online world, which permeates all aspects of our lives, I think I’d change my answer. The internet has all the answers. Everyone knows everything about anything, and yet people are still miserable. Maybe knowing everything doesn’t get you anything. Maybe its better to know nothing, so you can do nothing, and care about nothing. That’ll make you impervious to #criticism about everything.