Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer
Isn’t it amazing how fast we get news now? Social media made it possible. Wherever we go we get to know tons of information about anything ranging from gossip to disasters. Difficult part is that we consume this like fast food: Snag it, bag it, consume it, and move on. The more we hear the same stuff it becomes “fact”. But is that the Truth?
There are multiple issues with how we get news and how they are being prepared. For one, most events are oriented towards local and national acts of violence, only the most significant national and international events, and not to forget sports.
Then the reporting very rarely spends any significant time to review issues in depth. It tailors to ever so short attention spans. That is why I compare it to getting spoon fed with fast food: A brief rush that lasts about only as long as we get our next dose of it. Unfortunately, there seems to never be a shortage of rather useless news that TV and other print and online news sources jump on for our next dose.
What is especially sad is that it takes only a little effort to go after more useful information. Nothing new here – it is not impossible to get to better quality news. It is too bad that it does take a little more effort though. Are you willing though to make that little extra effort? In highly politicized times like this it is easier than ever to lose our bearing. What is really bad is that we no longer congregate in small or larger communities like we used to just 20 years ago.
I can only recommend a small habit change with a pretty big impact: Check out a few online and / or print resources every day that you that are quite a bit different from your usual sources. Give this a try at least once a week. Really cool are online sources like Deutsche Welle – DW, BBC or similar sources. Not only do you get a more international look at news, but you typically get a more in depth look at things that our media here do not take a close look at. It is all about getting a better – meaning broader – perspective.
Remember that just consuming raw news (I am including our social media updates here as well) is one thing, but allowing time for folks to better prepare them for you and for you taking the time to digest it properly is really where you should make the difference. Nothing is worse than to be un- or under informed; wait, perhaps outright incorrect information can be worse.
Bottom line is that you owe yourself a greater variety of news. The more you know, the better the decision you can make because of it. We have been given the most powerful tools on this planet by being human: We have the power of choice and the knowledge what is the right (or better) thing to do. Let’s put this to good use by starting with solid and correct information. Otherwise, we will fall victim to yet another case of garbage in-garbage out symptom. That can lead for you to become the next breaking news.