As we all know, Qasem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. led airstrike on January 3, 2020. As a response to this, within minutes, World War III was trending on Twitter. An outcry of fear inspired by dread of the draft was heard across all social media. On TikTok, a trend began where girls started filming short videos of themselves and their attempts to avoid the draft by becoming housewives and reverting to a 1950s lifestyle. Similar things appeared on Twitter, with women and girls saying that they never asked for equal rights or that they should be treated the same as men.
It is interesting to see how young people reacted to the threat of another World War; humor and satire seem to have become universal coping and bonding mechanisms across our generation, and using funny skits or captions on videos is a great way to make people laugh and feel more comfortable. For our entire lives, the United States has been at war, and our generation’s sense of safety and security has been profoundly affected by the 9/11 attacks, even though they occurred before many of us were born. It appears that when Generation Z is presented with news from the media that we have no control over, we decide to turn it into a joke or make satirical observations about our society. But it is also wonderful to see what our generation can do when we are presented with problems that we can help find solutions to. For instance, Australia currently has numerous forest fires ravaging all over the country, and many young people have rallied together to bring attention to the wildfires and raise money for the Australian Red Cross.
Overall, I think that we, as a generation, are able to use social media, when necessary, as a positive influence on our world. Last year, a YouTuber, who goes by the name Mr. Beast, raised over 21 million dollars to plant trees in an attempt to combat climate change. The riots and protests in Hong Kong were made more public by videos being posted on Twitter and other apps. Whether it is a political issue or an environmental problem, our generation has a way of coming together through social media and creating a funny, yet inspiring, response.