Social Media and Current Events: Are our opinions merely noise?

Social media has drastically changed the way we take in news. So much of our news is actually determined by our friends, including fake news. Maybe you haven’t checked the news yet, but your friends have shared current events. A lot of people even choose to learn news from social media instead of checking directly.

Some people may share the news post directly, but most will often add their own two cents, sharing their opinions about the news. With current cRaZy events, everyone is encouraged to speak out against hate. Being passive is seldom right.

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. // Desmond Tutu

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. // Martin Luther King Jr

I understand this completely! However, I’m struggling to determine how much is noise and how much is actual help.

Let’s be honest, I’m pretty sure I unfriended or was unfriended by anyone remotely racist/sexist/etc during the election. I made it very clear what and who I supported, and I quickly learned what people I probably don’t want as friends on Facebook or IRL. I still have friends on Facebook that were anti-HRC and are conservative Republicans, but we all seem to be on the same page that this Nazi shiz is out of control.

My social media friends/following consists of approximately:

50% CHAARG/fitness friends

25% Jacksonville friends

25% Chicago friends

0.04% random internet strangers

Loyola thrived on active social justice, and Chicago is hella diverse and amazing. CHAARG and fitness friends are all about positivity. Jacksonville friends have already been filtered. What opinions are new, and what are simply added noise?

I’m all about building your personal brand, but is it really necessary to explicitly denounce Nazism?

If I came from a Southern state or community where it was more of an issue, maybe. Otherwise, I personally struggle to understand how constantly sharing my opinion on the matter is helping. I will always share interesting posts/articles/videos that are informative and eye-opening, but do I really need to chime in with my two cents?

I have before, but as the crazy news continues to escalate, I wonder if we’re putting our eggs in the wrong basket. Even when I’ve participated in marches and protests in Chicago, I’ve wondered if I’m actually reaching the intended audience. What are we actually doing to help at-risk communities when we’re preaching to the choir?

Many of my friends have different opinions regarding certain policies, like healthcare or gun rights, but the best way to change those is to contact your local legislators.

I’m typically hesitant to donate my money to just any organization or charity. I want to make sure my dollars are making an impact. If you know of any great organizations to support, I would love to hear them!

I’m grateful to have used my resources and experience for the Disaster Relief Design Thinking Workshop. I would love to be involved with more events like that to use my brainpower for good (#Tech4Good).

I’m struggling to understand. I’m struggling to use my voice for the greater good, finding a balance between positive and realistic. Maybe social media isn’t the answer to speaking out. How are you handling this? Any advice? Feel free to reach out! ❤

++ Mary K

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