How We Take In Our World

How We Take In Our World

We get a lot of information fired at us, but how much of it do we really understand?
4
views

Whenever I sit in a movie theater, I see that, at any point during the movie, at least a quarter of the people in the room are looking down at a cell phone. Similarly, I see students sitting on the quad with books in hand, constantly taking breaks from what they’re reading to check their phones. Now, I’m not saying I’m not guilty of any of these behaviors, believe me, I am. However, I try to be aware of them, as they say a lot about how our generation, the first to grow up with a constant digital connection to each other and to the world, observes and comprehends life.

My entire family is in the entertainment business, and as a result, our family discussions often focus on the industry. One day, when we were discussing America’s declining interest in movies, my uncle pointed out that young people today observe their lives in 10-second clips. He was referring to Snapchat, where we see what our friends are doing through pictures or 10-second bits of video. Snapchat has also embedded into its platform a feature called “Discover,” in which various publications, ranging from tabloids to mainstream news sources, present content in the form of short “snaps.” He said that because we take in so much information in such short bits, we struggle to keep our attention on one thing for an extended period of time. In the media business, this is seen as a transition from “long-form” to “short-form” content.

The modern drift away from long-form content goes beyond just movies. When I try to show my friends any video over two minutes, they say “it’s too long.” Similarly, people scroll right through long posts on Facebook without giving them a second glance. Nobody reads full articles anymore, instead reading news through one-sentence headlines that appear as push notifications on a smartphone. In the modern age, there’s more content available to us than we could ever fully comprehend. Because of this, we try to see as much of this as possible, and it takes a toll on us. Since we’ve become used to seeing bits of information with no consistency, we’ve been drawn away from spending long amounts of time on one piece of information. This has seriously shortened our attention spans to as short as eight seconds according to one study.

Many people would say that this is the new status quo, and it is something that the world will adapt to. But there’s one serious problem with the new way of absorbing media. We see things so quickly that we record it and move on to the next one. What gets lost in the interim is analysis, a problem especially important when it comes to the news. Headlines and snippets are very easy to slant with bias, or worse, falsify altogether. If we don’t read more into the news we see, how do we know what’s real and what’s fake? We live in a time when people publish fake news to spread their ideals, and we have to be vigilant about the stories that we see as true. When we believe what we see at first glance and move on without a second look, we can and will be easily misled.

Cover Image Credit: Snapchat

Popular Right Now

College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
26613
views

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

How To Know That You're In A New York State Of Mind

"New York is the city that other cities can only dream of being."

61
views

A New York State of Mind does not mean you reside in the city, it is a way of life that you live, in which only some people can handle. Here's how to know if you are in a New York State of Mind.

You've got goals, baby.

Setting your mind on your goals, knowing that you'll achieve them is the number one step. You'll do anything to pursue your goals, which is what any good New Yorker would do.

You're not afraid to be alone.

New York is one of the largest cities in the world, which might make it one of the most lonely. Being okay with being alone is a trait only some can hold.

You keep life moving at a fast pace.

You want to do things, and you want them now. Like the queen Ariana Grande says, "I want it, I got it."

You are accepting of all people.

People are people, and everyone deserves the same love as one another, and if you're in a New York State of Mind, you know that.

You know that failure is not an option.

If you fail at something, you don't just quit and give up, you simply find a new, and better way to do that task.

You stay authentic to yourself.

You know who you are, you don't need to prove yourself to anyone. If they appreciate you and want you in their corner, they should make that clear to you.

You have a plan for everything.

You are prepared for whatever is it that is coming at you.

You know the sky isn't the limit, because you're reaching for the stars.

People will think you're crazy, or your dreams are too big. If you're in the right state of mind, you simply ignore them. There's no point in dwelling on other people's thoughts, when you know what you want.


Possessing these personality traits, shows that you are in fact in a New York State of Mind. If you are, you're a bad ass who knows who you are and what you want, and you'll get it, no matter what obstacles life throws your way.

Related Content

Facebook Comments