ImMEDIAcy: The Problem with Bitesize News

As millennials, we are passionate, progressive, powerful, and most of all, plugged-in. According to the American Press Institute, 69% of millennials get news at least once a day in some form. But an issue millennials are prone to is immediacy in jumping to opinions due to way we are consuming news. This generation is constantly being updated by sentence-long pieces of information through platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Apple News only to be sometimes followed by links to full text. But the real problem stems from consumers’ immediate reaction to interpret news from just one sentence and how quick people are to convince themselves into a strong position with so little information. 

Millennials are quick to take a side of supporting controversial topics like LGBTQ equality, gender roles, and other issues because of the strong predetermined opinions we hold in our minds. A recent example that I experienced in the last week was this tweet: 

“Ginuwine is under fire after rejecting and refusing to kiss a trans woman on live TV”.

Right off the bat, a trigger in my brain went off when the words “rejecting” and “refusing” were paired with “trans woman.” Almost immediately, I went into defensive mode. But after actually thinking about the statement, I realized that Genuwine has every right to refuse to kiss any woman, transgender or not. But because of the recent empowering movement of transgender people, the media picked this up and ran with it and I fell victim to an immediate reaction. Then, I noticed the amount of retweets and likes. Over 1,300 people shared this Tweet from an account that is neither verified nor credible, which shows the blindness of Twitter users to news when it is quickly skimmed over.  

So what can we do to become more aware of the sources and validity of news coming from Twitter, Facebook, and other social media apps?

Pick up a newspaper or magazine.

Millennials are said to be the generation who killed the newspaper. But newspapers are important documents that can be kept and saved to recall important events and news breaks for generations to come.

Unfollow any accounts that share fake news.

It’s 2018, and being better informed on current events no longer means which newscast you choose to watch. It now means knowing who to follow on social media. Maybe unfollowing trash-talkers who voice their opinions on every issue brought up by TMZ is a step in the right direction for your own good. For me, it was unfriending one of my friend’s mom who continued to share every post, regardless of who posted it, bashing Obama on every comment or speech made during his presidency. Doing this may also eliminate the hate and negativity from your timeline as well!

Subscribe to E-Newsletters.

My personal favorite way to read the news every morning is from TheSkimm. This media company sends out daily newsletters to simplify headline stories. They tell readers key details on major events so they are informed, but not confused on what’s going on. The topics they cover as well as the tone and voice in every newsletter makes TheSkimm the perfect newsletter for young professionals who want to become more knowledgeable.

So, remember next time you are jumping to conclusions about some “EXCLUSIVE Article”   do your research! HC Chapters, do you have any advice to give on how to avoid “fake news?” If so, leave a comment in the box below.