The problem with social media’s reaction to tragedies and crises


Payton Wozny, Editor-In-Chief

People generally have one of two reactions to the trending of controversial: either being very adamant about sharing their opinions and raising awareness or complaining about the spam of different topics on their Instagram Stories feed. While there are problems with both, it is critical that as a society we can find some middle ground and stop making everything an argument. Frankly, things are only getting worse by simply competing against any minor differences. We are all human and all people are more similar to each other than any other thing on the planet; it’s important to be reminded of that.

Now, whichever side of the media you generally take, everyone has a critical role in improving the state of society and moving towards a brighter future. 

First, for those who tend to share their opinions and encourage others to do the same: Great! However, it is important that you are fact-checking the information you choose to spread in an effort to decline the impacts of ‘fake news’. Additionally, although it’s important to make your opinions known and start conversations, you should do your best to follow up on the topics you chose to share your opinions on and stay updated/do anything you can do to help. Yes, sharing tragedies and posting about politics has the power to start conversations, it is only the first step. Neglecting to follow through with these topics can cause you to become uneducated on the topic as new information is released and limits your ability to help. It’s understandable that not everyone can donate money to every cause, but even sharing a link to a trustworthy organization can do much more than stating your opinion. Awareness is only the first step in a solution.

Second, for those of you who tend to complain about the posting of controversial topics: Great! You play an important role in questioning information regulated by the media. However, complaining, or even going as far as hating or trolling, about the sharing of opinions is both selfish and also not a solution to the problem they are discussing. Sorry if you are annoyed by the constant posting of earth day pictures or opinions on the abortion debate, but frankly it’s not your place to tell people what they can and not post. Your complaining could theoretically eventually halt conversations on important topics leading to the negligence once again. Also, it is understandable that posting a picture of a tree on earth day will not stop climate change; however you comping about a friend posting a picture on earth day will also not stop climate change; especially if you are not taking part to solve this identified problem, you have no place trying to end the discussion.

Photo courtesy of the Independent