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“I saw it on Instagram:” un-tinting my window to the world

Mia Bomback ’25
More and more teenagers are turning to social media apps, such as Instagram, for information on world news and current events. However, 2-in-3 teenagers who get their news directly from news organizations say that doing so has helped them better understand current events.

A few weeks ago, I made the reluctant first step towards a positive self-image: I opted for a sort of “digital detox,” and bid farewell to the toxic wasteland of jealousy that thrives on Instagram. After all, in the wise words of Olivia Rodrigo, “com-comparison is killing me slowly.”

I am 3 weeks Insta-sober, my FOMO has faltered and I no longer hold myself to such unrealistic standards of beauty or lifestyle. I’m also living under a rock. 

Now, I’ve never rendered myself a pop-culture fanatic, but I’ve always tried to stay “in-the-loop,” about celebrity happenings, at least those pertaining to my favorite actors and artists. So when Taylor Swift announced her 11th studio album, “Tortured Poets Departments,” and earned her fourth Album of the Year award at the 2024 Grammy awards, I was shocked to find out…. a whole two days after the fact, in math class. 

I’m a pretty big Swiftie. Had I known it were the Grammys, I probably would’ve watched. Or at least stayed up waiting for my post notification from @taylornation announcing the good news. Except I didn’t know the awards were this weekend, and I didn’t see an announcement post (or story repost) on Instagram. Had it not been for a friend and fellow fan asking me my opinions on the album’s tracklist one day in math, I could’ve gone days without knowing the groundbreaking news. 

Being off Instagram has forced me to consume all sorts of information in a more thoughtful way.

— Mia Bomback ’25

After a quick Internet search, I realized just how “last-year” all my pop-culture knowledge truly was. Without my daily Deuxmoi updates, I was blissfully unaware of the tumultuous feud between Megan and Nikki and Margot Robbie’s Oscars snub. Did you guys know Olivia Rodrigo is dating Louis Partridge? 

Pop culture news is one thing. Sure, it’s fun indulging in high-society gossip, whos-marrying-who, who-divorcing-who, who’s-going-to-be-reincarnated-as-the-second-royal-Paytas-baby. But 54% of teenagers cite social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Tiktok as a major source of world news. And that’s a real problem. 

Being off Instagram has forced me to consume all sorts of information in a more thoughtful way. My lack of access to the app—coupled with my innate desire to be, at least minimally, well-informed—has led me to look beyond a reposted infographic to deliver valuable information about the state of our world, and to credible news organizations and independent journalists, committed to delivering the truth. I never realized how much information I ignorantly absorbed without bothering to verify the facts or even the source, just by scrolling through my Instagram feed. 

When you decide to delete social media, you have a duty to stay-informed. No, not on the status of Jacob Elordi’s relationship with Olivia Jade, but current issues that hold tangible consequences for real individuals (and, if your friends are like mine, the Jacob Elordi stuff is pretty important to know, too). And for those of you who are still scrolling through Instagram, you have a responsibility there, too—to supplement the ill-informed infographics your friend reposted because some celebrity did, or the out-of-context quote turned internet memes with factual, meaningful engagement with the world around you.

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About the Contributor
Mia Bomback ’25, Paper News Editor
Paper News Editor Mia Bomback ’25 went with a friend to the Back-To-School issue layout and instantly fell in love with Inklings and the chaos that comes along with it.  “I love every minute that I'm in that room. It's frustrating but I just wouldn't want it any other way,” Bomback ’25 said.  Bomback loves to write features to share people's stories and allow them a voice.  “I really want to tell someone's story, I think that’s the point of journalism,”  Bomback ’25 said. “It’s just something super special when you can help somebody share their perspective, voice and story.”

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