Ignorance isn’t bliss

We have a moral responsibility to pay attention to the news, but careful consumption is important to avoid overwhelming ourselves

Art+by+Maria+Jia+Ling+Pitt.

Art by Maria Jia Ling Pitt.

If you’re not concerned about war in Ukraine, climate change, taxes, the next president, immigration laws, global conflicts, stereotypical debates and racism, then you’re either uninformed on these worldwide issues, or you’re ignorant. As the new generation emerges, more and more people are debating whether or not the news is an important part of our lives. The answer? It always is and always should be. We should be more informed individuals and need to understand that there are bigger problems in the world than our own; regularly keeping up with the news is important. 

While I don’t think it’s smart to bring up politics in the classroom, knowing fact or fiction plays an important role in our learning development. Hating on each other solely based on our political views divides us even further when we should be compromising our ideas. 

I’m not advocating for this news network or that news network, but let’s do our research past Google, past Yahoo, past Fox News, and past CNN and try to find the truth. When I say watch the news, I don’t mean only watching NBC or FOX all the time, but rather watching a variety of news networks to compare ideas, social issues and even personal conflicts that surface in society. 

When we read, watch and listen to differing perspectives other than our own, it opens up a whole new world of new and old issues that are relevant in our everyday lives. According to a Pew Research study, around half (48%) of Americans get news on social media even though some platforms spread false information. In fact, according to a 2018 MIT Sloan research study, false information spreads faster and wider than the truth due to laziness, not because of bias. 

To get the full story and learn from society’s mistakes, we need to double-check our sources before posting them all over social media or telling others. Especially students who want to go into the political field, their sources and teachers need to teach facts over fake news. To have an influence on future political ideals, society needs to leave biases behind them and teach young adults that they can research for themselves. 

Hearing the news every day, however, can be mentally draining and just plain annoying. Sometimes, I don’t want to watch the same political sides argue daily. Sometimes, I just want to watch Spongebob Squarepants in my living room, not caring if I need to know who the next president is. But isn’t that the point of the news? To inform individuals around the world about the neverending mistakes we continue to make? To connect our seemingly divided cultures together? To inform us of the extraordinary things we have accomplished? 

Nonetheless, the news doesn’t only revolve around politics. Newspapers and broadcasts also contain storeies about pop culture, fashion trends and entertainment, that shapes our fashion trends. In this manner, news sources can also provide an escape: from school, work and the stresses that occur daily. Entertainment lightens up our lives, often inspiring us that we can do and be more. Furthermore, you might find yourself connecting closer to people on a personal level when you share the same interests in shows or movies. 

While the constant arguing may be irritating, tuning into the news and reading credible articles about the events that revolve around us at least once a week will prepare us for the future, better than avoiding it altogether. If we start learning about the repeated mistakes made in history, we can change the future and make our voices heard. We can vote. We can participate in governmental decisions. We can make a difference when our older counterparts couldn’t.