Lately I’ve been noticing that there is an absurd amount of pop culture news on my Snapchat. It has me wondering a few things: Why doesn’t Snapchat use its popularity to bring up real issues, and what is news to our generation anymore?
I feel as if there is so much going on at this time. President Obama just gave his farewell address, a running list of democrats boycotted Trump’s inauguration, concern about gun violence is still prominent after the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting, Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, recently died at 82 years old and Dylann Roof was sentenced to death. These are the news stories the social media platform is not covering.
But you can be assured that there will be at least two different stories about Kylie Jenner featured every day from Daily Mail, advice on how to get the guy from Cosmopolitan and an update on that Bachelor episode you missed from People. In looking through such news on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I had to scroll to the end of the featured stories to find a piece from the Wall Street Journal. The headline (finally) read, “MLK: More Relevant Than Ever.”
It blew my mind that the day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, instead of seeing excerpts regarding such an important holiday we were leading up to, I was looking through my Snapchat wondering why the top news story was about Kendall Jenner’s “horrible” break out which consisted of a few pimples on her cheek.
CNN reported last April that Snapchat surpassed Instagram as the “most important social network” among teens. In the survey of 6,500 U.S. teens ranging from 14 to 19 years old, 28 percent of participants named Snapchat as most important compared to 27 percent who named Instagram.
Snapchat is also the third most popular social network among Millennials, according to Martin-Wilbourn Partners, a leading corporate communications firm.
With the favorability of Snapchat increasing among my peers, I feel as though it is even more important that the network changes and exposes us to more global news and less pop culture. While every now and then I do want to read about how Bella Hadid is handling her ex-boyfriend, The Weeknd’s, new fling with Selena Gomez, I think Snapchat needs to be feeding us some more important controversies.
Being a busy college student, I tend to get most of my news on-the-go from my cell phone. As much as I love reading through the New York Times website, I know not everyone my age does. I think it would be extremely beneficial to people in my generation if they could tap the Snapchat app, and get the world news from something they use for enjoyment.
More about the poverty gap, less about Kim Kardashian’s outfits. More about immigration, less Mariah Carey disses. More about mass incarceration, less about whatever the heck Justin Bieber is doing nowadays.
I understand that pop culture is what fascinates a lot of people, but platforms like Snapchat have the power to make world news more interesting. If it takes the Snapchat team making a filter about the Flint water crisis to get our attention, then so be it.
We Millennials are being shaped by technology and I would hate to see such a shape distorted because our beloved social medias are ignoring important issues.
One day Millennials will be running this country, and in order to make it a better place, we need to have conversations about what is happening in it.
To quote the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
I’m calling on Snapchat to spark conversations and make some noise within my generation.