Why you Should Keep up With the News (Even if you Don't Want to)

Our society is abundant in resources, technology being one of them. Regardless of age, it is not unusual to observe someone utilizing some form of technology. Our phones, iPads, laptops, etc. have practically become an extension of our hands. Within the outer layers of our technology savvy society, is a small minority of people who detest technology, but more specifically the media and “fake news” that one might encounter upon using various forms of technology.

As a young adult who is soon entering the workforce, I have come to realize that media is unavoidable. Despite my personal dissatisfaction with “fake news,” I consider it unwise to remain ignorant to the role of media in our society. More specifically, rather than avoiding media and relying on our own personal research to form opinions, it can be beneficial to stay up to date on current events that others believe are relevant. But why? Here are three reasons.

  1. Because it can Motivate us to be Active Audience Members

Media has influence in our lives whether we like it or not. Rather than avoiding exposure to media completely, we should acknowledge that the media does two things; the media tells us what to think about, and it is often times a reflection of what topics the public deems relevant. Accepting that the media is not always necessarily propaganda meant to manipulate us is crucial, because many times our society demonizes media outlets for simply delivering news. If we are dissatisfied with what type of news is being reported to us, it is our responsibility to remain active audience members and make this dissatisfaction known. This is how some of the well-known news outlets that we know of came to be. With that being said, audiences have the power to create change and thus influence what sort of news is being reported to people. Rather than write audiences off as not having power, we should always remember that news outlets would not thrive if it were not for the attention that audiences give them.  

  1. Perspective

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in life is only seeing things from one angle. Thinking about social issues from different lenses, for example, can help you become more aware of other people’s experiences. If we remain ignorant, we will never flourish and understand one another, which is ultimately why we have miscommunications and conflicts in the first place. When I first began to learn about the difference between white feminism and intersectional feminism, I realized that solely relying on my own experiences as a white woman in America to teach me about feminism was hindering me from fully practicing empathy and understanding intersectionality. Being open to learning about people’s diverse experiences and ideologies can help you to better develop a well-rounded comprehension of important topics. It also can help you create more educated arguments and provoke thoughtful questions.

 

  1. Staying in the Know    

Although we may not always agree with what media outlets report to audiences, this does not mean that these outlets are not valuable in keeping us up to date with current events. Believing that we are above keeping up with the news is counterproductive to the point of news reporting, which is to not only update audiences on what is going on in the everyday world, but to spread information that genuinely impacts audience members. If we choose to remain uninformed, we may misunderstand or be unaware of key events and ideas that are meaningful or relevant. This gap in knowledge is the last thing that our society needs.

Although not all news outlets function equally, the point of these forms of media (hopefully) is to educate and empower audiences. Instead of ignoring the news, we should be open to paying attention, drawing conclusions, and asking questions. Remaining engaged is perhaps the only way we can continue to better ourselves as we know it.