For a long time I haven’t understood twitter. Sure I’ve been a member for years, but outside of the auto-updates of my blog to the site I rarely touched it. Recently, I began checking it out again and am beginning to get a new found appreciation for the social media site. While yes, it’s a great place to share what kind of soup you’re eating or if you’re having a bad hair day, it’s also a great way to connect with people you otherwise never would, to share information, and what I learned most recently: to have a conversation. It’s strange to consider, I mean, how can you have anything that amounts to anything of depth when you’re discussing things in 140 characters or less? I was surprised this week to discover, with the #NotYourAsianSidekick conversation, quite a lot.
After writing my post on this globally trending topic, I was completely honored when the BBC contacted me to discuss my perspective and my participation relating to this hashtag for their radio program. For anyone interested, the program will air on BBC world service on Saturday at 14:50 GMT and then get repeated around the world (e.g. on lots of NPR stations, on FM in most African countries, etc). It will also be downloadable from the BBC website in perpetuity at bbcworldservice.com/trending by clicking on “free downloads.”
It amazes me the connections twitter can lead to and the conversations that can grow. In creating this hashtag Suey Park not only gave a voice to race-issues from people who rarely make it onto news media, but she created a hashtag to incorporate all Asians. Instead of a South Asian, or East Asian, or any other geographic discussion, she purposely made this a discussion to embrace all Asian Americans and I am so thankful for that and the tribe of people I connected with because of this.