By MADHURA NADARAJAH
I situated my cappuccinos on the broken down oak table (you know that kind that makes third world furniture seem aesthetically pleasing), stacked my capital “L” Literature books in terms of the contents’ increasing density, and for the final touch I placed the overpriced croissant on an avant-garde plate. I pulled up my Instagram and captured a photo of the scene I meticulously laid out, and I had to make sure the two cappuccinos were in the frame so my followers knew I had company. As I chose a suitable filter and a witty caption I experienced the same feelings of confusion I always felt before I posted anything on social media. The confusion I felt stemmed from the following questions: Why am I posting anything? Does anyone care about what I post? Do I care if people do not care about what I post? Why am I posting about my first world little luxuries when they are starving people out there?
I have been dabbling with social media since I was roughly twelve years old. Currently I participate in the social media trifecta: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. My Twitter is the platform I use to make connections with professional millennials; on the other hand, my Facebook is where I keep in touch with family and friends far and near, as well occasionally creep on my crushes. While I consciously have a purpose for Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is where I go willy-nilly and post anything I want — usually food pictures.
However, I always felt guilty posting food pictures; hypersexualizing my food pictures to establish a great lexicon of food porn on my Instagram page just did not feel right when I know there are starving individuals. However, it has been brought to my attention that many hunger relief organizations and campaigns are utilizing social media to help save famished individuals, and as a byproduct help cleanse social media users of their guilt.
One great campaign is Delete To Feed, which is sponsored by Land O’ Lakes (famous for making margarine); Delete To Feed’s main goal is to raise awareness about the hunger epidemic by eradicating food pictures on Instagram. By linking your Instagram to Delete To Feed’s website, you can delete your food pictures. For every food photo you take down, Delete to Feed will donate eleven meals to Feeding America.
While Delete To Feed, and many other organizations and campaigns like this are great, it is important that we accomplish both goals of these charities. These goals are to provide to the cause and to raise awareness of the cause for the long run. Typically the latter is usually more of an accomplished fad as opposed to a goal. To help society become more altruistic and open minded I encourage individuals to do a couple of things. First I believe individuals should stop putting social media into a binary of whether it is good or bad. While social media is complex, individuals need to be reminded about the great things the technology has enabled us to do as a society. In fact, Senior Psychology major Daniela Delvescovo reminded me that “Technology is enabling us to reach so many more people than was ever possible before. Now by just posting s picture you could help someone across the world that you have never met. That would never have been possible twenty years ago.” I believe individuals should look at the various charities offered through the medium of social media and make sure that when you carry out the cause it is for the long run. The only way change will happen is if there is longevity and prowess fueling the cause.