We are now two weeks into 2020, a new decade and a fresh start. Initially, I was going to write an article about being one week into 2020 but due to so much being up in the air I wanted to see if anything settled. But here we are, on the 14th of January and everything that was up in the air by the 7th of January have seemed to have got worse. We are all at least going to the gym right?! A couple days ago I was writing down topics that I want to write about in the upcoming weeks and I didn’t really know what to begin the year with. I sat there, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for a captivating article to appear in front of me. Instead, a Twitter notification popped up on my phone about Megan Markle and I thought to myself how many “Breaking News” reports I have read since the beginning of the year. With this thought, I started writing what you will read below. Here’s to 2020.
I spend a lot of my time scrolling through Twitter – to which I don’t actually consider wasting my time because I think you can learn so much on this platform (no sarcasm implied). A few weeks ago, I found humour in a tweet that said that Twitter is essentially one big group chat. Which is accurate to some extent. Funny memes and videos are posted, differing opinions are given, conflicts are happening, trolling is something users try to ignore. I even spent half an hour on Kaitlin Bennet’s (‘Kent State gun girl‘) twitter feed yesterday, just scrolling through the most outrageous tweets and comments. Including this recent video which I just want to include anyway because it just displays the ignorance and hatred within some conservatives and then it’s quite funny to see this ignorance get called out:
With all this said, I think that Twitter is a relatively good platform for one to educate themselves on society. The amount of information I learn every day about political/worldwide news is something that I find extremely beneficial to the knowledge and understanding I have today. The information often given on the platform is not always from bias news sources, but from real people, normal people, who are just giving their opinion on a particular topic. And then also, I like to read the discussions that continue in the replies, reading opinions that contrast what has already been said. Although, the interactions seen on the platform are not always so respectful and I have seen many trolling accounts get the best of users. It is difficult when political opinions are given, but then again the ‘block’ option is always there to tune out those who choose not to be so kind.
This past New Year’s eve, I spent my evening with the flu, scrolling through Twitter and I found that everyone was feeling rather positive about 2020 – as most usually do about the upcoming new year. But there was something about 2019 that people just wanted to leave that year behind. But here we are, 2 weeks into 2020 and the atmosphere on Twitter and in the world feels rather helpless.
As we are all aware, on Friday 3rd January, a U.S. drone strike hit two cars in Baghdad. This strike killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Seuleimani an important Iranian figure in charge of Iranian intelligence. Although this seemed to be celebrated by some – in both Iran and the U.S.A, the irrational order by Donald Trump for this to be carried out seems more than worrying. Since then, tensions have risen drastically between the two countries and Iran’s mistake of shooting down a Ukraine plane, killing 176 passengers is an example of how dangerous this conflict could lead to.
(Updated today 14/01/20: Amnesty International have spoken out about police brutality against peaceful protesters in Iran. “Iranians have taken to the streets to pay their respects to the victims of the Ukraine flight place crash. Security forces have cruelly dispersed vigils by beating grieving protesters and carrying out arrests.”)
The memes that came from the prospect of America and Iran going to war, were somewhat strange but I do have to say, some were funny and light-hearted. I use the word strange because being on the verge of war is a terrifying thought, but it is mostly terrifying for those directly impacted and not for those who live thousands of miles away from the action. I came across a tweet which helped to explain this further and thought to include it (see below).
So, if we can now put the joking aside and realise that there is blood on both America and Iran’s hands, and it is worrying that this is just the beginning of decades of uncertainty between the two. A conflict like this has extremely negative outcomes, including an influx of refugees, citizens having to leave their homes, splitting up from their families, putting themselves and their children in dangerous situations to find safety and comfort. This is a humanitarian crisis which we should all strive to avoid. This can be helped by putting pressure on your countries government, saying no to war and to actively seek peace.
(It isn’t always easy when America’s president seems to like making impulsive decisions but that is why all you Americans need to remember to vote wisely this coming November! Your vote ALWAYS matters.)
Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP