Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

The past year has dealt all of humanity a crushing blow, and we are still dealing with the aftermath.

There are over 270 million cases of people infected with COVID-19 and five million people have succumbed to COVID-related illnesses, globally.
Many of us are trying to leave the pandemic behind us while new variants of the viral pathogen continue to emerge.
Simultaneously, our nation has become politically divided more than ever as we try to navigate through a global event from which we are not yet in the clear.
It is a tumultuous era, and there seem to be more issues many of us remain in denial of as other concerns have taken front and center in our lives.

Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor jellybeans1987 asked:

"What do you think is the most serious issue in today's society?"

The internet has become a vast resource of knowledge and convenience. But does too much of a good thing lend itself to more issues?

Social Media Activity

"All the digital algorithms reward whatever induces the strongest emotions in you. Not whats true or accurate or important to know. Just what makes you angry or scared or self righteous etc etc."

– Inevitable_Limit_587

Becoming Numb To Real Issues

"Social media f'ked up a whole generation of kids also politics have ruined our country(USA) the distance a person will go to defend their 'side' resulted in no longer seeing right/wrong ie climate change or getting a simple vaccine/wearing a mask just my opinion tho don’t get mad at me anyone."

– ApprehensiveTackle65

Tell Us How We Feel

"The sheer amount of emotional manipulation we deal with on a day to day basis. Advertisements are everywhere and tell us we aren't good enough, the news media we're inundated with wants us scared and angry, and algorithms want to reinforce all of that."

– rjjm88

Who Can We Trust?

"fake news media going rampant and social media has too much power on censoring what people can say or read."

– Throwawayaway357

These problems, if left ignored, can consume us all.

Devilishly Sweet

"We are eating poison by design. Specifically sugar. It's made me think that even the medical industry is behind it which sounds crazy and offensive to people who dedicate their lives to helping others."

"I had a relative in the hospital and they were feeding him food where the first ingredient was water, second was corn syrup. He kept getting worse and worse until I had to step in and tell him he's being poisoned."

"All the doctors basically either rolled their eyes or shrugged. They told him he would have to start insulin. I started bringing in meals for him and he got much better and is out now. The whole thing seemed pretty predatory to me."

– strictbirdlaws

A Looming Disaster

"The current mass extinction event, and the fact that intergovernmental policies such as the UN focus more on mitigating the extinctions without disturbing the current political status quo, rather than focusing on stopping the mass extinctions."

"But it's an incredibly complicated and interconnected problem to solve, take pesticides for example. What could we possibly do? Tell farmers in developing nations that they are no longer allowed to use chemical pesticides?"

"Add in other factors, from climate change and greenhouse gases to light pollution and habitat degradation, and you have a wicked problem with no clear solution. The UN couldn't possibly solve all that. In addition, incredibly powerful corporations are lobbying left and right to keep themselves in positions of power, at the cost of the environment. They are cartoonishly evil."

– Conocoryphe

Too Many Of Us


"This is driving climate change, which has the potential to lower oxygen at a fast enough rate to kill everyone before we can adapt."


These are attitudes and behavior that are the root of many problems.

Living Unawares


"We have somehow become a society where the intelligent and informed people are silenced, for fear of offending the stupid and the ignorant."

"And the worst part? There is no reason for this. We have a public education system, and public library systems, where you can learn whatever you want, at your own speed, at NO COST."

– IamtheBoomstick


"Greed and how it drives so many people in such high possitions of power and wealth."

– karbon91

A Growing Rift

"The general division between people. In the decades prior, at least in my eyes, you could have a conversation with someone on a touchy subject without being overly judged on having a differing opinion."

"But as of late, more and more has it become an 'US vs THEM' mentality and such conversations are frowned upon, called to be canceled, or down right ignored. And whilst I do like to imagine its just the loud minority who just want to shut down the others, it unfortunately creates this air of 'no conversation can be had.' 'You're either against us, or with us, there is no middle ground, that is our terms which you must agree to!'"

"It all seems so.. pointless, the division but alot of people from both sides now would rather be 'listened to' rather than listen themselves."

– LeviMarx

Out of many concerns I have living in today's society, I find that people are less inclined to really listen to others.

We're so quick to dismiss individuals whose beliefs contradict our own. People have become so defensive, they started tuning out the other person.

Shutting someone down only fuels anger and consequently leads to a further disconnect.

We all don't have to agree with one another, but we can start by understanding where the other is coming from.

Because without that level of compassion, by dignifying the other person with an opposing opinion by listening to them, meaningful conversations that could potentially lead to change cannot exist.

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