It feels like every time I open Instagram, I’m greeted with a new wave of global tragedies. And with an
increased conversation on international affairs, it feels harder to depend on unbiased sources for
information. So, how do we engage with social media in a way that is educational, effective, and doesn’t
fill our heads with false and useless information?
- Take everything you read, see, and watch with a pinch of salt.
In 2023, it’s not hard to doctor footage. With increased use of AI and video editing, it is becoming easier for people to alter photos and videos in a way that can create and pursue false narratives. Furthermore, clips without context can change the way original footage may have been intended to be viewed. Taking everything at face value is what contributes toward monomania and persecution, and choosing to err on the side of caution is what contributes to making you look like less of an idiot.
- Engage with the subject
We all have access to the internet; I don’t care if it doesn’t fit your 80s retro aesthetic, there is no excuse not to have an awareness of global matters. Whether it be walking through a protest on Bristo Square or overhearing conversations with classmates, everyone is being exposed to information about global affairs, and claiming obliviousness is no longer an excuse. Wikipedia is right there.
- Celebrities are famous in their field for a reason.
Let’s stop asking Billie Eilish for her opinion on the femicides in Mexico. Today, singers, reality stars, and social media influencers are held on a pedestal to impossible standards. We should not expect, or trust, them to be educated on the rest of the world around them; from their Beverly Hills mansions, they don’t have to be. Instead, look to people that are actively known for their engagement with international affairs and social issues. Here’s a list of my current favourite Instagram accounts to turn to:
@impact – dedicated to spreading awareness of social issues
@cheerupluv – tackling sexual harassment and misogyny
@letstalkpalestine – for an education on the current Israel-Palestine conflict
@byplestia – an independent journalist reporting in Gaza
@feminist – the global hub for intersectional feminism
- It’s okay to not be sure!
At the end of the day, we cannot all expect to be educated on everything that is going on in the world around us. That’s what the internet is for! If you’re unsure where you stand on a topic, be honest and admit it. Social media can also be a way to escape from day-to-day stress for a little bit of five-minute, stress-free scrolling, so you can be forgiven for wanting to watch videos of Taylor’s latest concert to avoid the troubles of the world. But remember, not everyone has that privilege, and we should always try our best to educate ourselves, and the people around us, on and off social media.
“Zoe holding My Future Matters at the Woman’s March SF instagram” by FarOutFlora is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.