Watching the war in HD

By Claire Crittendon & Karissa Gaughan – Co-Editor-in-Chief & 1851 Contributor

“Is this World War III? Here’s how I’m avoiding the draft… Here’s how to put your mental health first and limit your news consumption … *insert pastel infographic on baseless information on the Russia/Ukraine conflict*.”

We’ve all seen it, the non-news-news-stories and social media posts surrounding but not covering the growing war. These uploads do nothing to help the actual conflict, and are just another way American youth can continue to make real carnage, death, and suffering into their newest viral post.

The American obsession with individualism has convinced us we need to have a public opinion, a personal stance on everything. 250 word Instagram stories following every casualty. A Snapchat story explaining how you feel about your favorite artist getting canceled. This war is no different.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinions as long as they are informed opinions. That is their right. Too often people get behind a movement not fully understanding what that movement really stands for and often spread false information.” Navy Veteran Jack Brinegar said.

We post to our Instagram and Snapchat stories snippets of movements without understanding the full stance and story behind it, often blindly following movements because they’re ‘trendy’. Brinegar continued, “The irony in this, as a veteran, I served to protect that right.”

If you do this, fulfill your compulsion to make your views as known as possible – take a minute to think about why. What are you trying to gain? What are you trying to prove? It’s not inherently bad, but why are you specifically doing it online? Are you actually talking about it in day-to-day life? How are you talking about it? Where? With who? Your local echo chamber of friends who share your views? Or are you challenging your point of view in an opposing conversation?

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