Ignorance is Bliss?
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Politics and Activism

Ignorance is Bliss?

Why what's happening in the world is actually relevant.

Ignorance is Bliss?

Despite the abundance of information available concerning world affairs and the increasing ability to be connected to everyone and know about essentially anything, it feels like our generation of Americans is completely uninformed about what's happening in the world. It feels like whenever anyone asks one of my peers (or me from time to time) what they think about an event occurring on a national or international scale, it's quickly dismissed. They either don’t know about the issue, don’t understand it or just don’t really care. A common response when asked if one knows about issues or reads the newspaper is “I would but it’s just so depressing,” or “I would but it just doesn’t feel relevant.”             

If our generation's increasing apathy towards political affairs is actually the case, I question how and why this occurs. What about current events makes them seem irrelevant to us or what allows us to hide in our little college bubbles, so easily ignoring the world outside them? I clearly don’t think that everyone takes this view or that everyone is equally apathetic, but the “not caring” or misinformation does seem to be a trend that I'm not necessarily exempt from either. 

The problem is likely not due to lack of ease in getting information about current events: there has never been a generation of people that has the potential to be so informed. We are constantly connected to everyone and everything around us. We know what that random kid in our Spanish class from high school had for lunch for heaven’s sake, so why don’t we know fully what is happening in Israel? Why don’t we actually understand the spread of Ebola in West Africa? People just seem more inclined to scroll through their Twitter feeds and look at Instagram pics than read a newspaper or peruse an online news source.             

With the level of available information accessible to us, this seems to suggest the apathy concerning current events is something of a choice; we could be very informed if we took the time to look and do the research, but many just don’t simply because they don’t want to or don’t believe the issues to be relevant.

However, I would argue that because of our generation's level of connectivity, our careers and our lives are going to play out on a worldwide scale, even more so than our parents or grandparents. There has never been a group of people to whom current events are more relevant. Our jobs are going to involve people from everywhere, making it essential that we're informed about other cultures, events and societies -- on a global scale.             

It's incredibly easy to ensconce ourselves in the routine of college life and forget that the outside world exists because, on a day-to-day basis, it really doesn’t affect us all that much. Ebola is not on our college campus (despite the regular rumors that it was) and there are no ISIS attacks occurring in classrooms. 

I sometimes feel like the only time I see any political participation when people are protesting on the Diag, which I don’t even understand much of the time. But college ends and the bubble will go away sooner or later. 

It's better to prepare ourselves for the outside world and the jobs that make connectivity essential. It may be easy to apathetic but there will always be a pay off for curiosity -- so go learn what's going out there!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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