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How Social Media News Makes You Less Knowledgeable
Social media is a pervasive presence in our everyday life. Therefore, it makes sense that some people get their news headlines from their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter timelines. While in some ways, this is an exciting and quick way to get news, the fact that anyone can share just about anything can really muddle the message. So is social media a reliable place to get news headlines overall?
Social Media Reduces Engagement
In a Pew Research Center study, 18% of adults reported that they use social media as their primary news source. Further questioning on current events revealed that they generally were less informed than people who got their news headlines from other sources, with the exception of local television. This indicates that people who use social media as their primary news source might not be as engaged with news stories as others.
Misinformation Is Spread More Easily Through Social Media
One of the upsides of social media is that people can easily share their thoughts and opinions with their peers and with people outside of their close circle. Unfortunately, ...
... this can also be a downside when that power is put in the wrong hands. With social media and people’s tendency to just read news headlines rather than delve deeper into the story, it’s easier than ever for misinformation to spread like wildfire. In 2020, this phenomenon was especially prevalent with the seemingly endless sharing of bad medical advice and conspiracy theories regarding COVID.
Should I Avoid Social Media for News Headlines?
So does this mean that social media should be cut out as a news source altogether? Not necessarily. It’s important to remember that getting your news from only one source is generally going to cause the same issues mentioned above. As a news consumer, it’s up to you to recognize bias, do research, look at a story from multiple points of view and come to your own conclusions. While this isn’t the ideal situation, and it’s easy to wish that news sources would just present all the facts to you in an unbiased manner, that’s not the reality. Fortunately, there are resources out there that try to help you sort through everything and better understand all the angles of the top stories.
Eldon Broady writes for various magazines and news portal giving breaking news, local US news, coronavirus news and entertainment news etc. You can find his thoughts at news headlines blog. To find Charleston, WV news, visit this website.
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