Liberalism and Instagram

I will outwardly and confidently call myself a liberal. That is my political agenda. And I’m proud of it. Every political ideology has its flaws (I mean just look at capitalism and socialism), but liberalism is a very wide ideology that’s hard to pin point. And it has plenty of flaws too.

Let’s start with the basics. Liberalism, in general, is the ideology that voices the concerns for the majority, that believes everyone’s rights should be respected, and that progress is the way forward. But here are the downfalls, not of liberalism, but of liberals. Some liberals get offended and argue against those who do not agree with liberalism’s progressive agenda aka conservatives. And that is not what liberalism is about. Liberalism is not a close-minded ideology that wants to only fight for what it believes in. Liberalism is there for everyone, whether you are conservative or not, because everyone has the right to have an opinion. The only thing liberalism is against is hate speech (that is never acceptable). This is why liberalism should be the moderate ideology however it is not always perceived that way. Liberalism is accepting of both sides of the political spectrum and is willing to find compromise in the best way to aid everyone’s rights and opinions.

Now that we know what liberalism is, let’s get into what this post’s topic is about. Instagram. Instagram is the best marketing tool out there. Instagram is capable of connecting so many people. And Instagram is the means to educate people efficiently. However, this education comes at a price. Most people reshare content on Instagram simply because it’s worth sharing to spread awareness but this awareness does not mean actual education. Let’s take this week’s tragic incident in America: six Asian-American women were killed in a hate crime. Of course it was wrong. Of course everyone talked about. Of course the media made a big fuss about it. There’s a ‘but’ coming.

But, normal users on Instagram simply reshared content that liberal Instagram accounts were sharing. Where’s the education in this action of resharing? We all know what happened however are you aware of the implications this incident caused? Are you aware of the many many crimes that happen like this one, not only in America, but all over the world? What annoys me is that most people do not understand America culturally enough to recognize what is wrong in these crimes. People simply reshare because ‘it was horrible and racist and it’s all over Instagram’. I’ve said this before: let’s not make these issues a trend on Instagram. I’m not saying resharing is wrong – definitely not. My point is that we should not reshare content like this simply to share our disappointment about this tragedy. If you are truly saddened and angry that racism still exists, become an activist. Join organizations. Inform yourself on other incidents going on and inform others. Simply ‘resharing’ doesn’t help anyone. It’s actually quite selfish. You just want to show your ‘support’ to a cause that you’re not informed about or actually care to contribute to. And let’s face it: the people who mindlessly reshare these points are the same people who would not attend a protest. My point is, if you really care, stop hiding behind your phone screen. Take action. The starting point is reading as much news as you can on the issue and understanding the arguments being presented by these organizations. This way, you’re sharing content and adding your own information which you obtained from the right sources and you passionately are part of the movement.

Here’s where liberalism comes in. If liberalism stands on the foundation of a population of ill-informed people then the ideology itself is a sham. It’s not well-argued making it a childish demand for social justice. And this is not what liberalism is or should be. Yet, this is how it is perceived by people of the other side of the political spectrum. Liberalism is easily accepting to everyone and yet it is the general public who need to take what they believe seriously by not relying on a liberal government to address or take action on these issues. Liberalism is probably the most active ideology that currently exists. Liberalism is the ideology that fights for everyone’s rights to be adhered to. Abortion rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, recreational cannabis consumption; these are only a few rights that liberalism supports. You don’t necessarily have to agree with them but you have no right to withhold someone from their rights. Regulation is key. Balance is ideal. It is important to hear both sides to any current issue. Liberal or conservative. Being objective isn’t easy but being respectful is called basic humanity.

I must also differentiate between revolutionary accounts and celebrity accounts. I’m sorry, as much as some celebrities are social justice advocates, others simply rant on their accounts without actually sharing the right information. What does this lead to? They’re simply making mindless supporters support a cause that these celebrities don’t really understand. The most popular accounts are probably @chnge, @feminist, @fash_rev, @mattxiv, just to mention a few.

And I cannot emphasize enough how much ‘history’ plays an important role when we talk about culture, politics, and current debates. To understand America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, etc., you need to understand it’s history. You cannot generalize a current population and its current issues because the reality is that these ‘current’ issues are a build up of past events. These issues have always been issues; we’ve been working on them throughout history and always trying to do better.

Although you might follow liberal pages, accounts or figures on social media, that does not mean you are informed enough to share content that is simply worth resharing as part of the current issue going on. If we simply reshare for the sake of resharing, then you’re letting the issue die out instead of trying to create discussion. Even if the issue, such as Asian-American racism in America, is an issue in America, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t educate yourself. If need be, support local issues and try to make your nation a better place. This is why Instagram has its own flaw too; lazy users who are glued to their phone screens and keep scrolling instead of finding the right information and having their own minds. We’ve got technology. Let’s use it the right way.

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