Current events shine through social media


Kenna Willis, Reporter

  In a constantly changing world there isn’t enough time to follow every news story. However, it is important to keep up on major current events occurring worldwide. Recently, 20 Durango High School students were surveyed on their knowledge of current events.

     These events ranged from a 15-year-old suing Obama to ISIS and the recent Paris attacks. Students were also surveyed on where they obtained the information that they have. The response was an overwhelming range of knowledge and sources from television to Facebook.

     For example, both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders use social media as a springboard for their campaigns. Consequently, 100,000 people are talking about the campaign on Facebook, and 50 percent of students state that most of their knowledge about the campaign was gained through the use of social media.

     Likewise, more than half of the students knew a large amount about the Paris attacks. Over 50% of students said they got their information online and through social media, a fact supported through the 334 million hits on google and the 100,000 people talking about it on Facebook.

      The amount of coverage on both social media and online affects how much students know. Many events go pretty much undetected due to a lack of presence on social media such as the 15-year-old boy from Colorado who is suing Obama for climate change. His suit only has 62 million hits on Google and 1,000 people talking about it on Facebook, and it shows in the student body.

      “I didn’t even know this was going on,” said Jr. Layne Clements.

     Yet, even though students know very little about some subjects, they know a lot about others. For example, Jr. Reagan Bennett has an informed opinion about ISIS.

      “I know ISIS is a terrorist group that is killing in the name of the Quran and they really have no right seeing as the Quran doesn’t mention that type of violence,” said Bennett.

      Additionally, some students don’t feel as if many events are covered fairly, such as reports regarding Planned Parenthood.

     “I know Robert Lewis Dar, 57, went into a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs with handguns and rifles in a duffle bag… I also think they [the authorities] didn’t give all the information they have,” said Fr. Kayla Rubenstein.

     Students also feel as if ISIS has not been covered well or correctly due to the reporting on the situation.

     “I am not satisfied about how we are approaching the situation and I wish I saw more of it because it affects me personally; my dad served in Iraq and Afghanistan and has many Muslim friends and enemies,” said Jr. Kylee Shilaikis.

      Research has played a huge role in how and where students receive information.         

      Jr. Quinn Deffenbauge was originally told about the Syrian refugee crisis by his grandmother. Curious, he went online to see what other information he could find.

     “I have spent a fair amount of time and energy researching the issue of accepting refugees into America,” said Deffenbauge.

      The majority of students who are aware of current events have ideas on how to solve them, although these solutions vary from student to student.

     “I think that if we don’t regulate each and every person; Caucasian, Black, Mexican, even Muslim person, we will go into WWIII,” said Shilaikis.

     Not only do students’ solutions vary, but there is another factor at hand, racism.

     “I think that we should stop racial stereotypes. I mean I’ve heard so many comments about how every Muslim is a terrorist and it’s just not true. It needs to stop,” said Bennett.

     Along with these solutions to problems come many opinions about how the government should approach current issues.

     “If you look at all that attacks the suspects always break laws that are supposed to be stopping them. Putting more laws into play won’t stop anyone, as we should start to see or learn, there is always [a way] around laws. These attacks prove that,” said Rubenstein about the Planned Parenthood attack.

      Regardless of what students know or don’t know there is still a lot going on in this world and there are a lot of young people with strong, creative ideas, which is good because this generation is the future.