Reposting: who really cares?

Natalie Milano

Social media consumes the lives of a lot of people – especially teenagers. Instagram and Twitter are at the heart of where teenagers discover the daily news – not just local, but national and world, too. 

The hot topics teens find out about from social media spread rapidly like viruses. Before you know it, everyone is posting about them, sharing news with all their followers. It’s a domino effect that starts with just one person and soon adds up to hundreds of teenagers or thousands posting about something they might not actually care about.

When so many teenagers post about the same issue so many times, people are quickly made aware of the situation. But, is simply reposting a story link really going to affect the cause? Are kids really doing anything to help the problem or are they just posting a picture about it? 

When big news hits the web, it doesn’t take too long for it to pop up on someone’s social media account. I tend to see this viral news trend often. It all starts with one news story, say the Amazon Forest Fire. One person posts a video about it and soon enough hundreds of teenagers repost the same video on their Instagram story. 

From experience, tapping through Instagram stories and seeing the same post over and over is redundant and becomes a little numbing. I believe that seeing a story once, and getting the facts gets the point across more effectively. Seeing it hundreds of times on hundreds of different accounts doesn’t necessarily change one’s awareness and it doesn’t help the cause either. 

There are a few reasons why people decide to take part in this viral news outbreak. Some post just because they see everyone else is posting. Others may post to make it seem like they’re up on the news. A few may do it for the  attention of their followers. Then there are the few teenagers that post because they really do want to spread the awareness of the story. 

Whether you are someone that posts to hop on the bandwagon or if you are someone that genuinely cares about the story, I believe there are better ways to help rather than just reposting a picture or video that most of your followers have likely seen already. 

Maybe there is something you can do that will have a bigger impact: express your views about it on your page or even talk to teachers or friends about it in person. For example, a few weeks ago, many teenagers posted a video about ocean pollution and how it’s slowly ruining the environment. Rather than uploading the video like everyone else, maybe take it a step further to really help the cause if you are passionate about it. Start discussing with your school a plan of action that everyone can take. Maybe you can get the school to stop the selling of plastic water bottles. Or possibly get your school to sell metal ones that are available for students to purchase. You can even go around your neighborhood to spread awareness and potentially persuade them to stop buying plastic water bottles. 

Overall, I believe social media news trends have taken over most of teenagers feeds in an ineffective way. I believe if you really care about a cause, you should make a change by making contributions in your daily life rather than just hiding behind a screen. 

I believe that spreading awareness is important, but seeing the same posts hundreds of times isn’t really doing anything. So next time, before posting viral news, take consideration about what outcome you’re really looking for.