Opinion: Social media works to unite people

By DANIELA MORA and LILY SHAW

It’s important to note that Covid-19 has caused a shift in today’s way of life by keeping humanity apart. Requirements to social distance and stay inside has caused many to severely limit communication with family and friends. Self quarantine has also limited the ability to interact with one another. People no longer get to see loved ones or spend quality time with the elders of their families due to fear of getting them sick. The virus has built societal walls, separating what used to be a united country.

With all of this separation, something has to be used to keep everyone together while still being safe from the virus outside our door. Social media, a platform in which different people from all around the world can share their pictures and moments with their followers. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat are all being used to communicate by using DMs (direct messages) or IMs (instant messages) to chat with someone else on the platform. Ryder Lee, a freshman at RHS, says that he has come in contact with around 100 influencers who have helped him branch out. He has received constructive criticism from them to help his future career come to life. The great thing about social media is the engagement with one another, even if no one is physically near. Social media is a place to see peers without having them physically next to us.

Social media not only has brought people closer together with friends, but it also provides opportunities to meet new people through them. Ivy Walker, a freshman at REV, says that over quarantine she has “reunited with old friends and met new ones.” For example, Instagram has a suggested feature where it shows the profiles of people who are followed by the users one already follows. One can also see other users’ posts on the Explore page if the user is a public account instead of private. 

Similarly to Instagram’s Explore page, TikTok has a For You page, where one can find any and all videos of interest based on an algorithm. On the other hand, if the users have a private account they can only be searched up by their username and will not come up on the For You page. These accounts will have to be requested in order to be able to follow them. Once this is done and the request has been accepted, one can easily send a message and begin a conversation with friends while keeping both parties safe and healthy. 

Digital social platforms have not only brought friendships to life and helped families and friends stay in touch, but it has saved many people. California has experienced many fires in the last few months. All it takes is one click of the “share” button and word spreads fast. Shelters, food drives, and pet evacuation centers have been set up all over and have been reposted thousands of times by the communities. Missing people have also been found through reposting on social media. The world can be a dangerous place sometimes, and hitting the share button helps a lot. 

In the end, social media has affected our life in many ways, some good and some bad. Covid may stop us from interacting with one another in person, but not digitally.

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