Refuse to Drink The Kool Aid

Photo+by+Alex+Benthien+%2716

Photo by Alex Benthien '16

On Thursday, December 4, Sally Kohn, a former-Fox News broadcaster, political commentator on CNN, and founder/chief executive officer of the Movement Vision Lab visited Loomis in order to speak to students and faculty about the effects of social media, and the control our generations has in making the world a more positive place. Living in a technologically advanced society, more people would rather look at their phones in order to avoid confrontation rather than speak about issues in person. Ms. Kohn spoke about how access to social media apps such as Snapchat, Brighten, Facebook, or Tumblr has made it very easy to insult or bully someone with the click of a button. Due to the fact that we as a society can send a message with with one tap instead of having to take a moment to think before we speak, so many permanent, hurtful instant messages get sent. “Social media sites tell us personal attacks and harassment are inevitable…nothing to do with the tools of technology but just the hearts and minds of human beings, and we believe them…It’s not inevitable; it is UNACCEPTABLE,” said Ms. Kohn. Because there are so many daily outrageous events both online and off, our “constant outrage culture” is slowly becoming numb to the real hatred and outrage going on around us. After speaking about her own experiences with bullying and cyberbullying both in high school and now on Twitter, she challenged the student body to be “perpetually outraged by incivility and nastiness in social media and throughout our culture without being outrageous [ourselves], to be surprised when people act in offensive ways without being offensive.” Kool Aid, the social poison of ignorance and complacency, is everywhere, but we can choose to be aware of the prejudices that exist around us and not let them influence our actions. As a generation, it is up to us to think for ourselves, to make the right decisions, to find our voices and speak out, to be the people who make a difference one step at a time.