Living on a college campus it can be so easy to close yourself off from the rest of the world. Ignoring the rest of the world, our lives seem to go on in our own “college bubble.” But for the rest of the world, breaking news doesn’t include “Susie and Matt from Beta hooked up” or “I heard Sara is officially blacklisted.”
It’s important, as young adults and the future of America, to look beyond our campus’ and see the realities of the world we live in today. There is certainly a lot going on at any given moment, and contrary to popular belief, the majority of current events impact us college kids more than we may believe.
What is the most terrifying is that instead of turning to credible news stations, students and young adults are learning about and forming opinions on news based on click-bait and independent sources on social media. How can a generation who forms opinions based on bias news and unreliable, independent sources form meaningful opinions and create conversation about current events in today’s society?
Media literacy is formally defined by the Center for Media Literacy as, “a framework to access, analyze, evaluate, create and participate with messages in a variety of forms — from print to video to the Internet. Media literacy builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy.” Colleges flourish with so many different types of media and using these resources to connect with others and expand our minds way beyond individual Universities helps us grow as future leaders.
Since media is such a huge part of society today, students need to stay up to date and use media to their advantage. While it is easy to get caught up in the daily life on campus, students need to remember that there is a big world out there. Media gives us a bigger picture of what’s happening in the world, and how it can affect us individually.
The Center for Media Literacy states that, “Media literacy, therefore, is about helping students become competent, critical and literate in all media forms so that they control the interpretation of what they see or hear rather than letting the interpretation control them.” So next time you are scrolling through Twitter, make an effort to follow a few news organizations instead of “Common White Girl” or “Total Frat Move.” Take time out of the day to read and interpret the news you see and form opinions based on what you believe.
The next time you grab a cup of coffee and open your laptop in the morning, take a few minutes to turn to any news source you prefer (I find ABC and NBC news to be the most credible and reliable) and read or watch the headlines for the day. When you see important events going on that will impact you, it’s important to form an opinion on it, but only after doing thorough research on both sides of the topic. When conversations arise about controversial current events, use it as an opportunity to grow in your understanding of the issue before closing yourself off to any new information.
Media literacy promotes the ability to learn through different means available and conversation sparks movement toward a greater understanding of both parties. Media literacy and educated conversation should be promoted and flourish amongst the young adults of today’s society, especially on college campus. After all, an informed student makes for a socially responsible and aware young adult.