7 Inbox Pests Black Women Activists Face on Social

How they behave and why we’re annoyed by them

Hello friends,

Today I’d like to talk about one of the often unseen bits of labour that Black activists have to put up with, especially the women. It’s vetting those connection requests that come in, and managing the DMs you get. I know, I know - everyone does this to some extent, but the stuff that comes into our inboxes - whew!

If you follow Madison Butler, you’ll know that death threats are a regular part of her social media experience on a so-called professional platform (Though to my mind, failing to clamp down on racists and bigots makes it anything BUT professional.) I can’t believe I even have to write that but here we are.

My experience is less extreme but no less unwelcome. And the thing is that you never know when words will turn to action. Nobody’s catching a plane to come and harangue me but for my mainland-based siblings, it’s worth taking a bit of extra care.

Here are 7 inbox pests I could really do without:

1. The disconnected connector

I know some people hate connection requests with messages. I personally prefer them. I want to know why you’ve chosen to request the connection or how, when and where we’ve shared digital or physical space before. I cannot just accept requests willy-nilly because of some of the other experiences I’ll share in a moment. Adding some context is helpful.

2. The immediate asker

Please, when I accept your connection request, take a breath before asking me to do something for you. I don’t know you yet and I’m busy. I literally do not have time to read every post, article or book, to listen to every podcast, watch every video or attend every event. And unless we already know and support each other, an early ask is a sign you don’t respect my time or energy, and may cause me to disconnect and unfollow.

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