By Erin Kokemiller
DMACC Honors student
We can’t change the world if we don’t know what is going on. Many millennials, and Americans in general, are out of touch with all that is going on in the world. It’s too much to keep track of and it’s all a depressing reminder of the low our society has reached. A survey by the American Press Institute in 2014 reported that only 40 percent, less than half, of Americans look beyond the headlines in a particular week. As for millennials in 2015, only 45 percent claimed to follow multiple news topics, as reported by a study by the Media Insight Project, along with the American Press Institute and Associated Press.
Everyone, especially college students, needs to stay up to date on world events. For college students, there generally isn’t an excuse to be uninformed. Most of us spend at least an hour a day looking through social media; saying we don’t have time just isn’t fair. An easy way to incorporate news into this is to follow CNN or FOX or some other news network on Facebook or Twitter and you’ll easily see headlines and snippets of what’s going on. Because of the right and left biased media, it is a good idea to look at news from the right, left, and unbiased sources. This can help you to find the real facts out of the political biases.
Why should you care what is going on in the world? It is important for you to watch and read the news to find the facts of current events and world happenings, not to fuel your opinions. While your opinions may and should form based off of what you hear and see, it isn’t the media’s job to feed us these opinions, just the facts. Let your opinions be your own and know the facts that led you to that stance. You might be surprised how much your political views change just by looking into what is really going on. Even if they don’t, you’ll at least be stronger in your values because you’ll have proof to back them up.
Second, it shows good character. By not caring about what is going on around us, we make ourselves appear self-centered, even if that’s not necessarily true.
Third, you should care because you (most likely) can vote. I encourage you to vote because you’ve looked into the candidates and know who you are voting for and why. Americans are blessed because we have the right to not only know what is happening in our country and world, but also change it through voting and speaking up.
Last, it’s good conversation. You might think this is dumb at first thought, but how many times have you walked into a classroom where everyone is sitting in their seat, looking at their phone in silence. I’m guilty of this, too. Next time this happens to you, ask a friend or a classmate near you about something in the news and what they thought of it. We can learn a lot from the viewpoints of others. You may not always agree with what they say, but it’s always good to put yourself in someone else’s shoes so we don’t become close-minded.
Nothing is going to get better if individuals don’t care enough to do something about it. To do that you must first know what the problem is and why it is a problem. Those who wish to change the world must first inform themselves of it.
Erin Kokemiller is a Liberal Arts student from Boone. She plans to graduate in December and transfer to Iowa State University in Spring 2018 to major in Mathematics and minor in International Studies.