A New Challenge For The People
Politics and Activism

A New Challenge For The People

And what can keep us from taking it on

Arielle Jones

So many challenges have lived and died in this past year alone. Among these have been various pointless (and often dangerous) social media challenges--the Huh Challenge, the Don't Judge Challenge, the Mannequin Challenge, the Backpack Challenge, the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge, and many others--to try to distract ourselves from the bigger challenges in our society, the biggest one being the challenge of respecting other people and their beliefs while still remaining united as a country.

Since we are now in the throes of the post-election season, hate crime is becoming more prevalent against people of color and the LGBTQIA community. The rights of thousands of people such as those that would be affected directly by the Dakota pipeline have been at stake for months. All the while we've been taking this time and this freedom to impose harm on others when it would not otherwise be imposed on us, and then posting videos about it, this all occurring when many voters are starting to feel remorse for their vote. Even though no official shift in power from one president to the next has occurred yet, the cultural shift is still apparent. We are now struggling as a world power where we haven't been before, and the rest of the world continues to laugh at us as many children, teens, and adults try to insult each other the most, avoid being pelted with full backpacks, and standing still. Take this as me destroying something fun if you will, but I assure you that the only thing being destroyed is our intelligence and our basis for knowledge.

It has actually been shown that social media is one of the most common ways (if not the most common way) to obtain daily news--local, national, and global. Almost every news station you can pay to see every month on cable or per satellite dish is available in some capacity to your Facebook feed, and every news station features different lenses through which we can look at the exact same issues, since we are all trying to understand what has happened at the conclusion of this long and arduous year. I just wonder why so many people don't realize the amazing powers and capabilities that we have been given and the great responsibility we have to ourselves and others who are suffering to be informed and do the little bit we can to help out our fellow human beings. I don't understand why so many potential agents for social change become the wastes of time that we call internet challenges.

I understand that there is a point to distracting oneself for some period of time, but that period of time should never be all the time. I understand that we as a people have no capacity to worry about every single thing and every single person--this is simply not possible, and even if it were, nobody would do it. This is not good or bad, just evolutionary, but we are still changing and letting social media shape us accordingly. The utter lack of information about important issues juxtaposed with the abundant wealth of information about everything else that you can possibly think of then becomes more dangerous, and then we end up writing cats, dead gorillas, and "Deez Nuts" into office tell us how to stop it, how to fix the issues that we have created and continue to create. We brought them into this world, and you'd better believe that we have the power to take them out.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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