It's time we, as consumers of media, talk about something...
It's important, so, grab a coffee or something and take a seat.
Here's the thing, and higher powers know I am not the first to bring this up, but Facebook, Twitter and other social media are severely limiting our worldviews.
Odds are, you're like me and spend too much time scrolling and a majority of what you're seeing, besides the cutesy engagement photos and pumpkin spice selfies, are click-bait versions of the same thing.
If you're liberal or tend to click on left-leaning content, then that's what you're seeing on your feed.
It's kind of like how if you're searching for a burgundy colored clutch to match that dress you're wearing to your cousin's wedding or a new Hugo Boss watch to add to your ever-growing collection and all of a sudden every time you log into Instagram or Facebook all your seeing are ads along the same vein as the item in your recent shopping search.
Every click you make is being tracked.
Websites recognize you, Google knows your birthday and Facebook talks to you about the weather in your area.
Besides making me increasingly more paranoid, the creepy tabs the internet keeps on me can be occasionally useful. It can help you find out when that exact watch you're looking for goes on sale or tell you when it's someone's birthday that you may have otherwise forgotten.
But all the tracking that Facebook does to customize your experience is making us lazy. It's making us less exposed to opposing viewpoints and devolving us into uninformed, lazy, news consumers.
I know, I'm guilty of getting sucked into it myself. But it's OK, there's hope.
The very first thing people ask me after learning my major in college is always something along the lines of, "What's the point of staying up-to-date with the news if it's all biased and sensationalized?".
Well, it's like this...
Would you trust a stranger on Craig’s List with no reviews or apparent credentials to fix her car? The answer is no because it’s likely you would take it to a trusted mechanic.
It’s as simple as that, it’s about credibility, and journalists have a job to do just like any other professional.
They’re not orating in front of a jury or wearing stethoscopes to check your heart rate; they’re behind cameras and computer screens, but just as lawyers are bound to justice and doctors to do no harm, journalists are bound to the truth.
And it's true, a lot of sources are biased, that makes this day and age simultaneously the worst and the best era for news.
It's the worst because it's fragmented, dependent on speed and clickability over accuracy. And it's the best because it's immediate, global and encourages people to be vigilant, to pay attention and become their own news aggregates.
I won't lie to you, staying informed takes time. It requires you to get your news from all sides, to listen to NPR and read articles from the Huffington Post, while also seeing what Fox News and CNN are posting. And understanding that those sources have agendas.
Their content is catering to a specific audience.
But paying the most attention to sources like Politico, Al Jazeera and your local paper. These are my standby sources, the ones I know are likely to give me the facts and keep me the most current with what's going on in the world.
The truth is, even with the most reliable sources, you'll never escape agenda and pandering. So, I implore you to take a more holistic approach to being informed and stop letting social media dictate your worldview.