The Struggle Against Global Turmoil in the 21st Century


Kelley Dunn

RHS student browses her chromebook, looking at the latest news updates going on around the world.

There’s no denying the turmoil our world has experienced here recently. From political polarization to natural disaster, we certainly see history in the making. Could we be progressing to a new height in human distress or have we always seen these trends?

In America alone, we’ve watched rioters join in the streets to protest racial injustices, we’ve seen mass destruction caused by the wildfires in Oregon, California, and Washington, and fatal endings to the lives of individuals who contracted the infamous Coronavirus. 

In an article published by The Pew Research Center, they stated, “The U.S. is hardly the only country wrestling with deepening political fissures… other advanced economies face many common strains over how opportunity is distributed in a global economy and how our culture adapts to growing diversity in an interconnected world.”

Humanity as a whole has struggled against divides and agressions from the beginning of time. But some individuals believe that social media and the rise of technology has allowed for more harshness and cruelty. Users of platforms such as Twitter and Instagram are able to share their moments and thoughts instantaneously. While this can be a very useful tool, the algorithms used on each app can further divide political parties and viewpoints. 

Algorithms work to learn our patterns and interests with the aim of providing our feed with the best content possible in order to keep us engaged with the app the longest. In regards to makeup or dog videos, it seems harmless. But real damage can be done when we are only seeing through the lens of one political party. The opposing viewpoint can begin to appear taboo and even demonized.

There is a growing concern about a possible lack of human connection we have over social media. Instead of seeing an account as a person with real feelings and experiences, some may strip other individuals to solely being another face in the midst of a crowd. It’s feasible that our words become sour and harsh as we see no consequence to speaking our minds. 

“We’ve lost respect for each other. I think violence is becoming a common place where you strike first and think about it later. And then you claim, ‘I didn’t know what I was doing,’ and that just kills me,” said science teacher Meg Cottingham.

Although the rise of social media has played a part in furthering division, hate is something that has been among us since the days of the Roman Empire. Some find it quite easy to choose brutality when faced with adversity and disputes. But the question remains- do we have the ability to flip the script in a way that enables us to rewrite history and learn to love each other? 

Cottingham stated, “You gotta find the good. That’s the only thing that keeps the world going: good seekers. Cause if everyone starts seeking the bad then we’re doomed. Sure we’re outnumbered, but it’s like this little light of mine. You can’t put a light under a basket. Be goofy, be happy, give back, and hopefully all the stuff around you will absorb that.”