Blog 4: How Are World Events Affecting You?

Are we becoming more open to the world or are we turning our backs on it? Social media did open us to the world as no other mainstream media had before, but at what cost? 

We are now used to the fact that we can know pretty much anything in just moments of it happening. I personally have notifications coming from the official national media in order for me to always be in the loop of what is happening, but what happens when the mainstream source isn’t delivering the news? 

I am sure by now you have heard of the East Palestine train derailment. I, like many people, first heard of it on social media. I was made aware of it within a couple of hours because I follow a wildlife rescue account on Instagram, Juniperfoxx. This is a pretty random way of discovering a big accident, and possible ecological disaster such as this. My first reaction was to feel deeply sorry for the people of East Palestine, and for the animals who were dying. My second reaction? Scrolling to something else, something more positive because I didn’t want to have to deal with such sad feelings. I felt helpless and honestly didn’t want to hear any more about it at the moment. 

Like many others, when it came to actually looking at what really happened, I didn’t. When it became viral a couple of days later on social media I didn’t have to search for anything: it was making its way to me anyway. Even if I didn’t want to see it, it was almost impossible to escape. Information was coming from everywhere, but mainstream media stayed silent. Or did they?

A lot is happening right now, and around the same time that the derailment happened, we were dealing with possibly multiple Chinese spy balloons which occupied a lot of space in our media. The lack of information, with the list of the chemicals being carried by the train only revealed nine days after the derailment can also be an explanation for the lack of coverage done by our mainstream media at the moment it happened. 

The curiosity of people had to be answered somehow, and that is when I started to see disinformation and conspiracy theories pop up on my social media platforms. Some content creators with no background in the matter started proclaiming that the toxic chemicals being set on fire were as bad as the Chernobyl incident, causing toxic rain to come to Ontario. Even if this information isn’t true, I still had a lot of my friends reach out because they felt anxious about the situation and they went down the rabbit hole. The more they looked at the content about the derailment, the algorithm picked up on it and offered even more. In those cases, what is the reflex most people have? Looking through articles to read and do research on, or letting your cellphone dictate what type of information you will be getting no matter if it’s true or false? 

I personally decided to avoid any social media when it comes to news about this particular event. It became out of control, becoming almost impossible to distinguish the true information from what is only being created to induce sensation and drama. I might be turning my back on the people of East Palestine and their story, but my mental health needed it. 

Are you the type of person who disengages from the news when it becomes too hard to handle? Or do you consider it to be a duty of being aware of what is going on in the world? Let me know your thoughts in the comment. 

Twitter: Are you following the #news or falling for the new conspiracy theory? Click the link to my blog for a quick reflection on the matter.

Facebook: Don’t let disinformation win. Click the link to my blog for a discussion on the latest conspiracy theory.

One thought on “Blog 4: How Are World Events Affecting You?

  1. It is difficult to disconnect from news feeds when we are bombarded every second by social media platforms. I like to be informed about what is happening around me and the world, but sometimes it can be challenging to ignore the bad news as they are sent to our social media channels. Maybe we need to balance our time when using social media and spend 50% of that time reading the news and 50% reading inspiring and feel-good posts.

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