Students allow news to come to them, whether that be from a friend, from TikTok or from the New York Times emails that fill their inboxes. Young adults need to stop completely relying on their peers and social media to give them information. Receiving news this way is simply not enough to be an active citizen in a community.
Being an active citizen means being informed, understanding what is going on in the world and using that information to act accordingly. For example, participating in democracy is something that is required to be an active citizen. Having a voice and taking action for democracy is important. However, if the participation is skewed due to a lack of information, then democracy is not being fulfilled. People must be informed on who they are voting for and the issues that they are trying to resolve.
Without searching for more information, people’s understanding of politics may only be coming from word of mouth. Although it is important to have conversations about politics and what is going on in the world, it is just as important that each individual does their own job to make sure they are informed. Information can become skewed when it is passed from person to person.
The issue with people allowing information to be spoon fed to them is that they will not be provided with all of the information. News outlets and social media posts on TikTok can take on a biased angle, which can prove to be problematic. Social media posts may be trying to promote a certain view or goal and may be withholding certain information. Because of this, people who only get their news from social media can never get all the information they need to stay informed.
When looking for information, students need to be aware that certain local events will not be covered by large news institutions such as The New York Times. There may be important news that can only be found in local news outlets. This does not mean that they are unimportant, it just means that people need to do more digging to find these stories.
Students and young adults need to engage with news media more. The news found on TikTok or Instagram needs to be questioned and fact checked. Information needs to be looked for and not passively received.
Although it can be time consuming to search for news and look at multiple articles, it is important to explore the news at least from time to time. Current students are, in fact, the next generation growing up to be in charge of what happens to the world.
So, pick up the local newspaper, scour the internet and engage with the news that is being hidden right under people’s noses.