Why your views may not be your own

BENJAMIN SOILEAU
Opinion Columnist

Social media is inarguably the most powerful influencer for teens and young adults today.

I use three social media platforms: Twitter, Snapchat and Reddit. When I am scrolling through any of my social media accounts, I often see people getting a lot of attention and support for their political and social views.

Sometimes the points they make are good, but they are often only showing one side of the argument.

For example, the current President of the United States Donald Trump is a controversial figure and is the subject of a lot of hate on social media because of it.

It is not uncommon for me to scroll through Twitter and see a tweet saying something like, “Donald Trump has done nothing for the economy,” and people will see that it has a few thousand retweets and even more likes and will look no further and believe it because so many other people have shown their accordance. Whether or not you believe that Trump has or has not helped the economy is irrelevant; what we need to recognize is that people are actually forming their opinions based off of tweets that provide no evidence.

The issue goes further than just influential people posting their opinions on social media.

In a Business Insider article by Natasha Bertrand the topic of cyberwar comes up.

Adrian Chen, a writer at The New Yorker revealed that the Russian government hires Internet trolls to spread propaganda that pushes the Russian agenda onto western social media platforms. The article was written in the middle of the 2016 presidential race, and Russia was hiring pro-Trump bots to spread misinformation in an attempt to get Trump elected.

The reason Russia does this is because it works. It takes no genius to observe how lazy people can be when it comes to keeping up with current events.

We are now so into instant gratification that we do not read further into things. It is easier to adopt the seemingly good views of others than it is to formulate your own. Governments and big businesses know the way we think and how much we use social media, and they are using this to their benefit. People are trying to exploit us using social media. It is obvious that the general masses are easily exploited, so people with the power to use that to their advantage will.

The most common complaint I see on social media is how society is going to crap, but no one really digs into why. It is because we allow ourselves to be enslaved by social media, and we are weaker because of it.

We do not have our own values anymore; we have the values of whichever powerful figure has exploited us, and that just makes you think that the future is grim.

My intentions in writing this are to force anyone reading this to examine themselves.

Think about how informed you are and how deep you look into the issues we face today. It is important to be informed because our society is our responsibility. If we can make informed decisions now, our future selves will thank us for forming a society we feel safe to raise our children in.

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