Eye of the Editors: Highschooler’s ignorance to reality

Opinion: Teens’ social media posts about serious topics are superficial and ignorant of their severity.

Social media apps are some of the biggest platforms for reaching audiences around the globe. Because of this, more and more international and domestic news have become more accessible to an increasing number of teens and children. However, these social media outlets, primarily Instagram and Twitter, are now simply tools for a majority of teens to “repost” and “rant” about current world problems.

In the summer of 2019, Instagram was filled with posts and stories by accounts such as Plantatreeofficial,  which claimed to plant a tree for every “like.” As a result, gullible teens who hoped to contribute to the forest restoration and improvement of the environment reposted and promoted these posts. Though some of these accounts are credible, such as the company Tentree, which garnered over 14 million likes, a majority of them were not and utilized the app’s users to gain money off of their posts. 

Recently, the Australian bushfires have made headlines in both news outlets and social media. Again, teens rushed to publish posts on social media, urgently calling to help the country combat its fires and save the wildlife. 

 As sincere as these people might be, spending a minute and choosing which post they should put on their social media doesn’t contribute much to the  conversation on the issue. People should spend more time to inform themselves on the topics at hand.

Another current example is the standoff between the U.S. and Iran. People on social media exaggerated details about the situation through memes. Though these posts about World War III and military drafts started out as jokes, some people began to think that WW III was imminent. 

Although most of the population can only sit and watch as the situation unfolds, making jokes about the crisis is irrational and doesn’t add anything to the understanding of the conflict. 

It isn’t that the good Samaritans on social media don’t do some good—without them publicizing international and national news much of the population would be unaware. Teens who truly want to contribute can instead make a change by supporting bills and petitions on issues that they care about, which is a more direct route for change.

 And if social media happens to be the most accessible and quick way to make an impact, people should take time to look into organizations and posts for credibility instead of promoting them because others on the Internet choose to do so.