Former MN government teacher uses social media to educate the public on Ukraine crisis

As the crisis in Ukraine continues, many people have questions about what is happening and what caused the conflict. 

A Minnesota woman is using her platform to help people better understand. 

If you’ve scrolled through social media lately, you may have come across Sharon Mcmahon, or @sharonsayso as known on Instagram. McMahon, who currently lives in Duluth, is a former high school law and government teacher. In September of 2020 she decided to start bringing her knowledge and skills from the classroom to Instagram. 

“Now I’m just teaching adults on Instagram,” McMahon said with a laugh. Every day she posts short, digestible stories about what’s happening in the world. She gained her following of more than 800,000 by making comical – yet factual – posts about the 2020 election. She said her goal has always been to provide a space free of misinformation that focuses on the facts. 

Lately, her focus has been on Ukraine. 

“When you’re dealing with an incredibly tragic situation like you are in Ukraine, you’re mixing in all of your emotions and feelings and compassion for the situation,” she said. At a time where people are inundated with information, McMahon said her audience is hungry for the facts in a way they can quickly understand. 

“It can be as simple as just offering an explanation for a term all the way to explaining much more complicated geopolitical topics,” she said, “They know there is a significant amount of misinformation floating around or they don’t have the ability or time or emotional capacity to just sit and read four hours of news a day.”

Her videos get right to the facts, while using humor to relieve some of heaviness. When it comes to Ukraine, she hopes her followers recognize the importance of democracy. 

“I hope they have a better understanding of the importance of democracy and how fragile democracy can become and how imperative it is that we protect it,” McMahon said.