Media Literacy Is The Key To Being A More Socially Responsible Young Adult

Media Literacy Is The Key To Being A More Socially Responsible Young Adult

An informed and knowledgeable student makes for a socially responsible and aware young adult.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Wilfred Iven

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21 Tweets About Anti-Vax Children That Will Make Parents Get Their Kids Vaccinated ASAP

Vaccinate your kids. Period.

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I have compiled 21 tweets about anti-vaccination parents and their children that did not only make me laugh, but made me further enforce my belief that parents need to vaccinate their kids.

These tweets are pretty dark, to be honest, but once you think about the situation at hand, sometimes it is best to approach it in a funny way so you can get your point across.

You have been warned.

These tweets may be funny, but the situation is not funny. Do your research and help people around you not get sick by vaccinating your kids.

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(and probably the most important tweet of all).

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My Hometown Just Experienced A Mass Shooting, If We Don't Do Something, Yours Could Be Next

You never think it will happen to you until it does.

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I was on my way out the door to work when I got a panicked call from my mother.

"Can you look at the news online?" she said quickly. "There is a mass shooting somewhere nearby."

My heart stopped. For me, Aurora, Illinois is home. I was born there, I grew up around the area and I attended high school there. My siblings go to school close by and my boyfriend works for a neighboring fire department.

How could my beloved hometown become the victim of the latest tragedy?

After calling my boyfriend, who was at the fire station getting ready to deploy ambulances to the scene, I discovered that it had taken place at a factory nearby. My anxiety hit an all-time high as I watched the updates on all of the local city Facebook pages and groups. Officers down. Gunman at large. Mass casualties.

Hours later, all of the facts came out. A former employee of Henry Pratt's Company, a local industrial warehouse, had recently been let go and decided to get revenge. He entered the warehouse with a gun and began to shoot at random, killing five people and wounding many others, including five police officers. He was killed by local SWAT forces.

I am the kind of person who is pro-gun and pro-gun rights because of the second amendment and all of the freedoms I believe we deserve. But that doesn't make what happened okay and it never will.

While this situation doesn't change my mind, it does change my view of the world.

Why would somebody decide that shooting former coworkers was the way to go? Why would anyone want to hurt others? These are the questions that flooded my mind in the hours after the mass shooting. I don't necessarily think we have a gun issue in America, but issues with mental health and valuing life.

We pass bills to kill unborn children. We repeal bills that take away healthcare from million. We devalue life in its most basic form and respect those around us to still have enough respect for each other's lives. We stigmatize those who need psychiatric care and expect things to still be alright.

This is not alright.

Our country, our system, our values, and morals, they are all broken and backward. We have let mass shootings become normal and violence becomes accepted. It needs to be stopped. There needs to be a change.

One of the people killed was an intern from a local college during his first day on the job. Being a college student applying to internships myself, this hit far too close to home. Nobody deserves to die, least of all in their place of work while trying to further their career.

Five people lost their lives due to someone's disrespect of them. Yes, a gun was the weapon, but a mind was the actor. I pray that someday, our country will return to valuing life and respecting others enough to help them instead of pushing them away. This is not the first mass shooting, but it can be the last. If, and only if, we make sure of it.

If you want to help the victim's families in any way, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses

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