WWIII: A Real Threat or Just a Scare?


Erin Hong, Staff Writer

You might’ve been wondering what the source of all the “draft” and “World War Three” jokes on social media were all about. The fears about this possible war were triggered after a US-led airstrike killed one of Iran’s most important military leaders, Qasem Soleimani. This was an immense blow to Iran, as it lost one of its most influential generals and political figures, so the nation promised revenge on the attacker. This, unsurprisingly, has spiked fear over millions, especially Americans, at the possibility that this is merely the beginning of a chain of events that will eventually lead to the third World War.

It is not difficult to comprehend the anxiety of the American youth. The men have been, for decades, registering with the Selective Service in case of a military draft when reaching the age of eighteen. However, there is much exaggeration present within the fears. There has not been a draft since the year 1973, and registering does not automatically lead to one. Nevertheless, the top “trending” topics on major social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok have been about the war and the draft.

Surprisingly, their reactions have not necessarily been completely negative; many have been rather comical, filled with jokes and dark humor. On the other hand, some have portrayed the fear of the possible conflict, and some have blamed the President Trump, who had approved of this attack against General Soleimani. The joking approach was clearly the most prominent one, however. You might’ve seen people talking about their outrageous plans such as leaving the country, changing their gender, or having a child to avoid the draft. For example, here is a popular social media influencer James Charles’s reaction.

There has also been talk about various subjects, such as women getting drafted or possible attacks on major US cities. It is still unclear which rumors might actually bear out to be true or not, as various false information on social media platforms is spreading fast.  

It’s only the start of the year 2020, and the American people are already in fear. It is impossible to predict the future, and only time can tell what will happen.