The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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My mother is a flat earther

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GRAPHIC: SADIE HENZES ’24/THE HAWK

We all have THAT family member. The weird uncle who spouts conspiracy theories at Thanksgiving dinner. The great-grandpa who swears the moon landing was fake. The aunt who technically isn’t even your aunt, but you still call her your aunt because apparently she and your mom were close as kids, and now whenever you see her, she talks about how the CIA is following her. We all have them, but for me, that family member is my very own mother.

It was a shock to the rest of the family when she came out as a flat earther. She would always send me strange TikToks, like how Joe Biden is a clone or how there are chemicals floating in the tap water. But this was something completely different.

“Well, the Earth is flat. It just makes sense when you think about it,” my mother said.

I was speechless. I had to know more. I heard stories about people who believed the Earth is flat, but for my own mother to be a flat earther was something I never expected. I knew she was wrong. I love my mother. She’s everything to me, but I know better than to listen to her over Aristotle.

“Planes don’t fly in a straight line. They can’t go around the globe. There are no fly zones in Antarctica, look it up. The thought of that is crazy to me. No one can fly there, it seems a little weird, doesn’t it?”

Well, I did look it up. You CAN fly in Antarctica. It’s just impractical. And it’s cold.

“We don’t know of anybody in history who’s gone around the globe.”

A quick Google search revealed this to be false. We actually know of many people who have gone around the globe. Ferdinand Magellan did it all the way back in the 16th century.

“This doesn’t just come out of somebody’s mind, Carter. There’s a little piece of truth in every stem of an idea.”

What I’ve taken from all of this is that there’s always something to gain from hearing about these outlandish ideas. Sure, it’s completely incorrect. Anyone with any scientific knowledge would tell you the Earth is, in fact, round.

However, it’s amazing to think just how far something can snowball from a simple idea. Modern science had accepted the Earth is round for so long, and it wasn’t until the 19th century that this conspiracy theory saw a resurgence. And now, through the power of TikTok, we see it emphasized even further.

“I didn’t do any research on it, I just saw a TikTok,” my mom said. We have a lot of power in the palm of our hands. A simple like, share or follow gives an idea legitimacy.

If you ever feel powerless, just know through a simple 30 second video, you can change someone’s entire worldview. Like and share content responsibly, my friends. You never know whose mom is watching.

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