Social Media

Is it health care reform or is it the Russians who hijacked our election? Headlines matter and news stories are aplenty as anyone can be considered a media source. Yet we the people, Americans by birth or by naturalization, are gratified to be diverted from the truth. Blaming conservative or the left-leaning media is getting wearisome and just obnoxious. Modern media is not balanced as everyone takes their own agenda and beliefs into the field. With political campaigns being so artfully orchestrated, the media simply plays into this and we take it as Biblical truth.

In entertainment, we can be more tolerant as they're not a news organization. Yet, we have stars feeding us what we ought to believe and we swallow it up. Power is a voracious appetite and some stars can never quench their hunger or tame their lips. Madonna used her fame to address President Donald Trump during a woman's march. She threatened to blow up the White House in her speech at the woman's walk--we were in shock. Just because you are famous doesn't mean you can't use tact and it also doesn't mean you are right either. Who is to blame? We all are because we allow it. Here are 5 lessons that the media teaches us.

We can't think for ourselves anymore.

We are becoming increasingly similar to sheep; unable to but -- more importantly -- unwilling to think for ourselves. With all this information, the public can't distinguish fact from fiction. If Americans are going to trust the media, there needs to be an end to the polarization.
When there is a news source that all people can go to for their news, then there might be a shift. Yet, this is highly unlikely. Reporters are doing the best they can under the deadlines, but they have to also think about creating enticing content even if it's not accurate. But readers need to decipher if there is something awry with a story.

They feed our need for gossip.

We love gossip and reading about other people's troubles, whether it's in Hollywood or at the White House. People need to get their minds off their problems and mindless entertainment can do that. As much as this is addicting it gives permission to judge and point fingers. Take Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna, they're infamous for fighting. However, for some reason, we can't get enough of the gossip. His sister Kim said in “Keeping Up With the Kardashians ” it was nuts, but people kept clicking on their story to keep it bustling. There is not enough internet space to go through all the tantalizing drama over the years. But this won't stop us from running to the newest gossip headline on TMZ because we can't help it, right?

They offered us new ways to stress out.

Social media is great, but it can cause emotional dysfunction. Experts believe that Facebook and Twitter may increase stress and anxiety for users. Doctors are now coining terms such as social media anxiety, social networking anxiety and Facebook depression. The Journal of Pediatrics reported that 22 percent of teens log onto their favorite social media site 10 or more times a day. "Children, utilizing social media, are receiving a false sense of connection; they are too young to understand the truth behind social media." People are absorbing wrong information through social media that leads to more stress as anyone can post a blog or an article on a topic and it can be full of false information. 

They taught us to distrust.

Confidence in the media tanked to the lowest level in Gallup polling history. Only 32 percent of Americans had a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the media. Gallup started performing the polls as early as 1972 where Americans were supportive (72 percent) of the media during the Watergate scandal in 1976. "After staying in the low to mid-50s through the late 1990s and into the early years of the new century, Americans' trust in the media has fallen slowly and steadily," Art Swift explained on Gallup.com. CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Huffington Post and the conservative-friendly Fox News, all have their own agendas. So, we need to be on guard.

They taught us that they need accountability.

With so many bloggers, writers and social media feeds, it should be easier for people to hold the media accountable when they push their own agendas. Yet, we believe what they are sharing is the truth. We need to call them out when they're constantly crediting unnamed sources for information in their reports.

The media as a whole has failed the public. It is up to Americans to sift through the destruction and pick out the truth to decide if what they read and hear is viable. We can choose to not allow the media to influence us in a negative fashion and use it for good by being more selective.

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