I have never before been so immersed in politics. Where I come from in Central America, no one trusts the government. It is assumed that they are corrupt, and wasting one’s vital time thinking or talking about them is taboo. You could argue that that is why things do not change, but now, being submersed in a culture that thirsts to talk about politics, I see it is probably a subject better left alone. Like ignoring a bully or a wasp, loud action only makes it worse. Is that right? Fair? I don’t know, but I don’t want to get stung.
I am creating social media accounts for my children, a bit controversial maybe, but I want them to have a healthy relationship with social media platforms. I opened a Tik-Tok account a few days ago and I have been scrolling through my feed. I asked my seventh graders to show me their Tik-Tok accounts. I have seen how this platform tracks the taste of each individual and posts content in your feed that keeps your interest. On my seventh graders feed, you will see basketball stars, live video game feeds, and of course cute girls. My 8-year-old’s feed hosts a variety of funny animal videos and the latest Zelda hacks. My sister’s feed has dogs of all shapes and sizes and the best crockpot recipes to make in under 30 min. My Tik-Tok feeds me a constant dose of impossible side hustles, human rights activism at its worst and very unhappy democrats. Why? I don’t identify with any of these.
That brought me to a thought that my mother and I have been discussing lately. Why is there such a need to identify? How does identity shape you? Jail you? Free you?