OpinionOn the need to call out
On the need to call out
May 1, 2017
May 1, 2017

It’s been said before: End call-out culture.

I’m sure we’ve all witnessed this trend online, where when you find a post that sounds wrong when you read it, you proceed to share or retweet it for more of your friends to see. You probably add a piece of your mind to that repost too, so everyone will know how you feel about it. Nothing wrong with expressing your views in contrast to someone else’s, right? Here arises our need to correct other people and hold them accountable for the things they say, one way or another.

Today, social media has grown to become such a toxic place for individuals to express themselves for fear of being publicly crucified. Originally, calling someone out on their misinformed opinion would come with the intent to encourage healthy, intelligent discourse. It’s supposed to be engaging people in conversation about issues which need attention, and it’s supposed to help clear the air for those with clashing views—if not to totally convince the other side, to at least let them understand the logic and basis of an opposing opinion.

However, what most people forget is that there is an audience to all the things you post online, and when you call someone out for their mistake, it isn’t a two-way conversation. When you choose to speak carelessly and offensively about a person because of a post, you are inviting others to do the same. It creates an atmosphere of bullying, one that should never have been present in the first place.

The thing is, disagreement does not always mean that you’re correct and they’re wrong. It’s scary how we always have to be extra cautious of everything we post, because even if we believe something is right, someone will always find faults in the things we say. There is nothing wrong with seeing things from the opposite perspective, but it definitely isn’t right to push them down someone’s throat, especially when the person you’re talking to has no intention of offending anyone.

The online world is a platform that can be used to exchange ideas and provoke thought, but too often do people use social media as a means to attack people for the things they say. Criticism of one’s ideas too often becomes criticism of the person himself, with his name and his photo spreading like wildfire alongside his post. Bullying a person for their wrong views serves no other purpose than feeding the ego, and we all know that’s no help either.

And as if being subjected to thousands of insults from thousands of users isn’t bad enough, when someone finally apologizes, it usually goes unnoticed, with everyone hiding behind, “The damage has been done.” If an apology is not what people need to stop scapegoating, then why does calling out happen in the first place?

Make people understand and learn, not force them to put band-aid solutions to stop the public shaming they were subjected to. There is no excuse for offensive, demeaning posts, but neither is there an excuse to use insulting replies just to prove a point. We encourage people to speak out, yet we turn debates into selfish arguments when someone disagrees with us. This is when we all need to take a step back and re-think what exactly our objectives are when reacting to these things—is it with the intention to educate that we say the things we do, or is it to simply show off?