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September 17, 2019
By MELLIOTT2 BRONZE, Flower Mound, Texas
MELLIOTT2 BRONZE, Flower Mound, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Social media allows people to quickly access news and relay their opinions on it. On Twitter, one can simply click on the trending page, and see what is happening in the world around them. What users usually find are troubling stories on all the controversies and pain people are experiencing. What’s even more troubling is that it seems, after users voice their opinions, retweet, and like the posts they move on to the next one. And when the issue isn’t trending anymore, it is simply never given any attention again by the masses, until the problem becomes worse; which is when the cycle repeats. And while this is prevalent in social media, it’s not confined in technology.
One summer, a couple of years ago, my dad and I were visiting California. We were driving on our way to downtown L.A., in pursuit of some new clothes for the upcoming school year. It was a cool and breezy day outside, not the usual sunshine California weather you hear about in all the pop songs. The dull gray clouds blanketed the sky, shading the city below. Because there was so much traffic, it didn’t take me long to start snoozing off during the car ride. I was sound asleep in the car when we got on the highway. Sensing we were almost there, I opened my eyes popped up from my seat. I could see large buildings dwarfing the skyline.
“Twenty-seven minutes,” my dad announced turned on his turn signals.
I sighed and looked out to the traffic on the highway. It was essentially “bumper to bumper” traffic, which was impressive given the fact the work week was over. I get out my phone to take a picture of the city. One thing I noticed immediately was the amount of fog covering the enormous skyscrapers.
“That’s called smog. It’s caused by pollution,” my dad explains. “Like factory pollution?” I ask.
“Probably,” my dad replies.
That’s when I saw it. The fumes from the cars, coupled with the ever growing population of the city. Then the realization came. There's too many people here, I thought. Too many carbon monoxide producing vehicles. Too many poisonous fumes released into the atmosphere of our planet. My dad further explained to me that this isn’t a new issue to the Los Angeles area. People participate in smog tests, where they test the air to ensure the oxygen they breath is pure and actually oxygen.
We arrived at the Citadel, where we shopped for hours, walking around in the room temperature weather. Never once did I think about smog and how it would affect the air and the people breathing it in again. Never once did my dad think of taking the bus to work, or carpooling to decrease the carbon footprint. It was an issue that we realized wouldn’t be solved until it was too late. Why help contribute to a cause when it’s not hurting anyone. The scariest question is

would we have if it was hurting or affecting someone. Or would we have forgotten about it just as quickly.
These types of topics are brought up everyday on twitter. Gun violence, racism, sexism, sexual assault, where people use a platform to discuss these ideas. However, this doesn’t incite people to go out and actually make a difference and try to change the cycles. People can like posts and get into twitter arguments all day, but they’ll forget in a week. Or that’s all they’ll do and the problem won’t be any closer to getting resolved. The trending page in our society determines what issues are discussed, and which ones are not. An app decides what’s important in our worldright now, and what will be forgotten in two hours.

The author's comments:

I spend a lot of time on Twitter, surfing the trending pages trying to keep up with the world. What inspired me to write this article was the realization that efforts and catastrophes can be forgotten in a flash.

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