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The difference a social media post can make

(Image courtesy of Creative Commons)

By now, you’ve probably seen countless videos, pictures, or even influencer-promoted ads about buying metal straws to save sea turtles. In response, some are eagerly joining the movement while others view those same eager efforts with utter annoyance. 

Those who fit into the latter category mostly believe that people are wasting their time and money on metal straws in an effort to reduce plastic usage. But the biggest complaint overall seems to be that they are tired of the repetitive posts on social media about metal straws. Even people that initially supported the movement become tired of the frequent posts. 

This trend can be seen in many other cases similar to this one.

For example, there was another wave of environmental activism that came before the straw movement. During this wave, numerous accounts posted pictures and videos blaming humans for destroying the environment. Many of the pictures were graphic and extreme. One post featured a polar bear with chunks of fur missing all over its body resulting from the devastating effects of climate change. 

Although seemingly effective at first, people soon became tired of seeing those same posts on their explore feed. These posts included videos titled “this video plants trees!” and other posts with clickbait covers of celebrities that actually played the environmental damage awareness videos when you clicked on them. 

The intention behind these short-lived movements are altruistic, but their unintended consequences seem to be the biggest thing people remember. The irony is that although these videos bring support and enthusiasm, the repetitiveness quickly causes annoyance.

Undoubtedly, to avoid such issues, the best way we can do as individuals is to take as much action as we can instead of just passively spreading awareness. The action may be small — like buying a metal straw to limit your plastic use.

Although some may still believe small actions will not make a large enough difference to create change, the collective force of these small actions will ultimately grow to have a significant impact on society and the environment as a whole.

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