A problem only exists when it’s trending

It+has+been+a+while+since+anyone+has+cared+about+the+turtles.

@pefectpolluconservices

It has been a while since anyone has cared about the turtles.

To any avid social media user, it is not an unusual occurrence to see a specific post or issue to trend for some time. Regularly, it consumes most people’s stories, and then after we have all seen it, we move on. Back to posting pictures of ourselves or food or vacation. I can’t even excuse myself from this.

We have all seen the same post sixty times in a row I am sure. The polar bear on the single iceberg, the “10 years until the damage is irreversible” climate activist post and the rush Instagram surely undergoes when legislation is changed or enacted. 

In most cases, a string of posts circulate all containing similar content. Immediately, they are shared to multiple stories—no further research is done—and people decide they have done their part. 

Publicizing issues is of profound importance and plays a key role in solving large-scale problems that require a significant amount of people to fix. I do not want to dismiss the role this plays, however, it seems people use this as a pass to coax themselves into thinking they are doing enough. Educating others is a singular piece of the puzzle, and to make yourself effective in solving an issue, it cannot become the only piece you contribute.

Unfortunately, Instagram and other social media platforms also have no background check or guarantee to research-backed claims. If the sole source one is basing their opinion off of is Instagram, it would most definitely be in your best interest to—in some sense—background check the information you have interest in posting; not only to educate yourself adequately but to ensure you are publicizing nothing but the truth. If not, then even this trivial role as the advertiser is in vain. 

I don’t think that this practice is reprehensible, because the intent is good-natured. The problem lies in the fact that after the few days we choose to recognize a problem, we simply forget about it. The truth of the matter is that the obstacle still exists no matter how much we post about it. And while posting on social media is effective, if we all choose that our role is simply to spread the issue and not change how we interact with it, then we might as well just all leave the issue alone. 

The truth of the matter is that the obstacle still exists no matter how much we post about it.”

To subsidize this act, my suggestions would include a few simple things:

Do your own research and share it. Dig deeper than two swipes on an Instagram carousel; I know that you are capable.

Another viable option would simply be to find a way to be involved. Likely, there is some charity or organization that supports this issue, and while donating money is helpful, donating time is just as valuable. Most of these websites feature a drop-down tab or page featuring something along the lines of “how you can get involved.”

Now, this was not with the intent to condemn the Instagram voices out there because I am undoubtedly one of you. Nonetheless, it is inherent to solve issues that we acknowledge the fact that they exist longer than the time they were featured on Instagram and that whilst they still may not be trending, they still matter.