Jasmine C. Dobbins

Social division is something America has been dealing with for as long as people are probably able to remember. First there was slavery, and then segregation, but the country worked its way to becoming more progressive once the law was passed that everything was to become integrated.

But segregation is something America still continues to struggle with to this day, and it seems that one aspect that has continued to fuel this issue is social media.

Constant debates that always resort back to race no matter the topic have caused this country to fall back to similar times in America that many iconic leaders in American history worked to rid of for centuries.

I definitely think that social media apps cause a racial divide. When there is a debate online—it could be anything…. politics, sports, fashion etc. and race is always the default excuse behind each issue. For some reason that’s what people resort to,” Gay Pinder, Media Relations Director at Towson said.

It may be known by many that there has somewhat always been an unintentional racial divide in schools because of the types of classes each student is enrolled and the peers that surround them, or maybe because of the financial background of their parents, or maybe it’s because of the group of friends they decide to hangout with after school hours.

And like the divide that was formed between young students in schools, the racial divide through social media is something that was unintentionally formed, and could have possibly come about because of the lack of “real-life” interactions between races on a day-to-day basis.

People would rather debate online because it’s not face-to-face. They have more courage and are bold enough to speak their minds behind a computer screen. Because we are growing up in the digital age, people don’t feel the need to communicate in person anymore. Every heated conversation is done through some sort of technology,” Pinder said.

And Pinder may have a point, racism seems to be something that occurs so often on social media because of the fact that they are not physically standing in front of the group of people they are insulting. And this is something that is prevalent on apps such as Twitter, Yik Yak, Facebook, etc.

Politics seems to be one of the main controversial topics that always involves race. Because a majority of African-Americans in the U.S. are Democrats and most Republicans tend to be Caucasian, it makes for a multitude of heated debates online that sometimes include “below the belt” comments.

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Towson Student Erin Frias scrolling through Yik Yik

And though America continues to be progressive pertaining to race, this is a issue Pinder thinks will not include an easy resolution.

I’m not sure if it could ever be completely resolved, but if people focused more on their face-to-face communication, that would be a good start,” Pinder said.

 

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