Does Social Media Ruin Nature?

People violating nature to use on social media can be proven to be destructive.

Ethan Y.

People violating nature to use on social media can be proven to be destructive.

For centuries, nature was the key to man advancements and cultivation. It provided many natural resources, such as wood, iron, and gold. Nature was also worshipped by many cultures and gave wonder and amazement to many that come. However, in modern days, companies wanting more resources and land have destroyed and demolished these natural places. These companies usually do this for their profit. Surprisingly, even normal, unsuspecting people can ruin nature. This is because of social media.

Social media users love to take photos of amazing views of nature and post them up on their social media platforms. Taking photos doesn’t cause harm, but interacting with wildlife and adjusting and moving natural objects can cause impacts in the wild. In April, California was filled with blooming flowers, and the fields were opened for people in public. However, tourists visiting these places trample, jump and pluck flowers out from the ground. Even helicopters landed in the middle of these fields. These actions killed these flowers and were, in the end, closed to the public. Some people do not act this way, but the majority do in order to get the perfect picture with these flowers and use them on social media.

Another place that has been tainted with these social media users is the swimming hole on the public lands of the Catskill Mountains. This is located in a gorge in these mountains and was immensely breathtaking and beautiful until people touched it. The once amazing place is now filled with empty, dirty bottles, trash, and human waste overall.

This is not all. In 2018, a sunflower farm in Toronto was closed off after people holding their cameras and phones took over the farm. In Arizona, there is a natural wonder place called Horseshoe Bend. Because of the popularity, it gained, local people, installed a car park there, ruining the natural beauty view of this amazing place. An example of a global problem like this is in South Africa, where endangered animals are put at risk as visits and posts can share the location of these animals to poachers.

This may seem terrible as the environment gets worse, but authorities in these locations have been starting campaigns to reduce and eliminate geotagging (where a person shares a location in social media). For example, during the California bloom, the California Park Authority used a social media hashtag, #Don’tDoomtheBloom, to solve the problem with the flowers. Another solution that appeared in the South Africa problem was when signs were posted up on fences to tell social media users to refrain from posting pictures up on the web.

All around the world, national parks are facing problems of people capturing photos, but disrupting and disrespecting the environment that drew them here. Taking photos may not be a problem, but social media users disrupt and litter the surrounding environment while taking photos. However, solutions have been slowly appearing up at these locations to save these natural environments. As the solutions appear but geotagging increases, the balance shifts back and forth as nature continues to suffer due to social media.