Stop being selectively political on issues that aren't trending.
It's frustrating witnessing my peers who, on a normal day, claim their political stance to be: "not wanting to get involved" when finding themselves in a heated political discussion. However, once "breaking news" tragedies like police brutality, sexual harassment, and school shootings pop up on their timeline, they are eager to retweet and repost with captions such as, "If you're silent, you are part of the problem." The irony is if and when a majority of these people find themselves physically in a political discussion, they remain silent, and perhaps unknowingly, engage in micro-aggressions on the daily.
Why is having some sort of political opinion taken as some kind of an aesthetic?
Regardless of your level of engagement in politics, of course, it's always good to retweet and repost news stories and spread awareness about what's going on in the world because there are so many people beyond misinformed and disengaged. I do not want to put down those being present on social media and expressing their ideas because you should do it, I do it, too! Whether you are a democrat or republican, you are right to share your beliefs and 100% should use your platform!
The problem is when those that remain apolitical on a normal day, decide to share their beliefs on "trending" issues. Where are these opinions coming from?
One must question, are these performance activists' opinions coming from a genuinely frustrated place? Did they research the story and have received unbiased facts? Have they been watching news reports for CNN's, FOX's, MSNBC's opinions? Do they have their own opinion or are they just reposting these social justice templates for their own ego? Do they just want their following to think that they care? Do they want to convince their following that they are politically educated because it makes them feel smarter? Are they scared if they do not take a political stance online that their followers will notice and form opinions about their character? This relates to the toxicity of social media and how engraved it is in many young users' minds to post, comment, and like to promote their image. However, there is no way to prove someone is just posting something online to skew their appearance to others, because who's to say someone does or doesn't care about a news story? Nobody is in each other's head! All I ask is that you know your brain and where your opinions are coming from and whether they are products of the right place.
My urge to write this article was sparked by the recent BLM protests but I have witnessed this pattern for years during and after several senseless tragedies. Don't just cherry-pick sociopolitical issues to care about, you should always read the news and be aware of the world around you. Practice what you preach and vote for those that reflect your opinion!
Millennials, Gen Z, and everyone to come have a lot of work to do. Step one is being educated and aware.
I want to urge social media users to not get sucked into the toxic trap. Do not allow yourself to "like" a post without knowing the full story. Do not encourage your friends to promote your opinion–let them have their own without making them feel bad or awkward. Stop yourself if you are posting something to gain some kind of recognition or personal gain on behalf of your self-image (this goes for anything—political or not). Also, coming from a liberal, please do not call yourself "woke" *cringe.*