It’s pretty obvious that there’s a lot going on in the world right now. Political issues, environmental issues, and human rights issues fill the news. Many of these issues have made their way onto social media via informational posts and educational headlines. While Instagram may have once been a place to share selfies, Twitter a place to share jokes, and Tik Tok a place to share dances, the purpose of these platforms has changed, especially recently.
There are real, timely problems that exist for all of us right now. As teens, it may seem easier to ignore these problems, or believe that they don’t affect us directly. While this is a choice many are making, it is important to understand how harmful it is to remain ignorant. The ability to even share our opinions with others is a gift so many of us take for granted. Take China or North Korea for instance where the information their citizens receive and put out is extremely censored. The leaders of these countries have utter control, which leaves millions living in fear or living lives they don’t desire.
Democracy is truly a gift, and if our voices aren’t used now, this gift is going to be altered in some way. Staying silent in times like this is a form of privilege. Just because you aren’t personally struggling doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care that others are struggling around you. Those of us who are not African American still have the duty to speak up during the Black Lives Matter movement. Racial discrimination is too prevalent of an issue for anyone to ignore.
Compassion is a basic human emotion; it shouldn’t be hard to care about other people. Yet I see so many people around me scared to stand up for their beliefs. Each one of our voices may not make a difference individually, but together we have the power to move mountains.
Additionally, the Black Lives Matter movement should not just turn into a trend. Sure, posting a black screen on Instagram shows your support for the movement, but it is not a progressive action that will get things done. However, signing petitions, calling representatives, donating money, and attending protests are all great ways to actually take action. Don’t let posting about it on social media be the only step you take.
Some high schoolers can vote now, and some will be able to vote soon. Staying up to date on national issues is so important, especially because the youth of America can change the future of this country simply by voting and supporting new political leaders.
Educate yourself and educate others. Challenge yourself and people around you to keep doing the little things because those little things are going to add up and pave a new future for us all.