Disappointed by Social Media—Yet Again
Posted by samanthajung
A trending topic on Twitter surfaced earlier this evening: #stopthatthatsgay, and I can’t help but write a few words on how disgusting I think this is.
A “trending topic” is Twitter-speak for something that is a recurring hashtag or word in tweets (such as “#Glee” on a Tuesday night, or “Midterms” during October).
Topics like these remind me that the Internet, just like our planet, is full of people who are, well, uneducated. I don’t purport this to be fully the fault of individuals in question, but let’s look at this from a logical point of view. Merriam-Webster defines gay as:
1 a : happily excited : merry <in a gay mood> b : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits <a bird’s gay spring song>
2 a : bright, lively <gay sunny meadows> b : brilliant in color
3 : given to social pleasures; also : licentious
4 a : homosexual <gay men> b : of, relating to, or used by homosexuals <the gay rights movement> <a gay bar>
Nowhere in the definition does it define “gay” as “stupid”—how the idiots on the trending topic are using it. However you feel about homosexuals, African-Americans, Chinese, First Nations, Caucasians, or anyone else, it is not appropriate to use the term synonymously with the adjective “stupid.”
Quite a few reports have surfaced in the media recently about homosexual teenage boys who have committed suicide after enduring teasing and scrutiny within their community for their sexual orientation. This is appalling. I’m disappointed, once again, with our society. The nice little bubble of people I follow on Twitter (mostly academics, students, news sources and friends) would never consider #stopthatthatsgay as a cool or funny trending topic—and it makes me forget how stupid people on the Internet can be.