Social media promotes activism among teenagers


Ellia Kweon

Students have put information on their Instagram stories to educate others and have their voices heard.

Ellia Kweon, Staff Writer

Over the past couple of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has led many American teenagers to have an excessive amount of time at hand. Many have used social media platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, as not only a source of entertainment but a place to speak out and educate their peers. Several major topics currently being discussed are the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, women’s rights, political stances and the Uyghur crisis.  

According to the Mayo Clinic, a variety of social media platforms are becoming a space where teenagers can express their views and be exposed to current events. One of the most popular apps currently being used is TikTok, which consists of short videos that can last from 15 seconds to one minute. People of all generations and followers are able to put out content inspiring change through protest information, petition links and contact information of representatives.

“[TikTok] really informs me on topics of BLM like the police reform, but it also inspired me to post things on my instagram story to spread the information with others,”  sophomore Fernando Alarcon said. “Quarantine has given us more time to focus on the problems like racism and has let people show their true colors on social media, and for people who care about the BLM movement, we have a lot more time we can spend trying to inform people.”

Another popular app has been Instagram, where pictures and stories can be posted. This app has been recently used in instances such as posting a black square with the hashtag “blackouttuesday” as a symbol of the people’s solidarity with African Americans to bring awareness. Captions under posts are also utilized to spread links, information and donation sites. 

“Instagram has been the app that informs me the most because I see posts on people’s stories which have a lot of information,” freshman Chloe Lee said. 

Other issues such as the fight for equality and rights for the LGBTQ community are continually being pushed through social media, and people are able to bring light to many more issues in hopes of making a lasting impact. 

“[Instagram] has inspired me more to speak out and share information to people who are uneducated and it has helped me understand what I support in today’s society,” Lee said.