Millennials, you can send this to your parents.
Dear elders, are you sitting down? Please, do.
I hate to be the one to break it to you. But the media brands you’ve known all your life — no longer deserve your trust.
I’ve been living with my parents for the extent of this covidized three months. Don’t feel bad for me! It’s been a joy and literally wouldn’t have happened any other way.
Today, we’re sitting on the beach. My parents are talking to their friends, as the seagulls go about their business and the wind’s ability to blow things over rages on. I let it take a bit of my stress.
The conversation sneaks down the alley of politics, as one says to another how she “can’t stand watching Trump on TV.” My mom recommends that she stop watching the news. Her friend protests that she “wants to know what’s going on.” Seconds later she makes a comment about the “Trumpies”, protesting to open the economy, and how they can “go f*ck themselves.”
Observing my mom’s friend’s grave misunderstanding of the young-progressive liberals who don’t support an authoritarian state — and also don’t support Trump — I stayed out of the conversation and remained sunning on my belly, feigning a nap.
My dear baby-boomers, what I want to say — lest I holdback for fear of deaf ears — is that it’s time to find new news sources. Listen, I get it, your news networks have been with you through the 70s when you were flying high. They supplied you current events in the 80s, as you got married and started families. They narrated the “good years” of 90s economic boom and remained your trusty cable companions as the world was swept onto the Internet from 2000.
I know; digital literacy isn’t your second language. But what you must understand is that as you’ve aged, media has devolved. The free media world has entirely moved online. The current news broadcasts you see on TV are not only owned by a total of two companies, but moreover… they’ve become yet another sensationalist, American production. Incentivized to break the most shocking news — or better, slay around opinions — rather than take a non-biased reporting approach. The news has become a TV show. The coverage has been steered to gain higher ratings and cash in on higher ad spends. It’s a game. And its players are marionetted by Rupert Murdoch and the like.
And yes, I see why you wouldn’t trust these sources. Why abc, nbc, fox and cnn have gained all of your trust. You know them. They’ve been your companions for years. The only thing? They’re soul-less corporations. Literally.
So, what to do? Where to get your news? Do you have to submit yourself to these liberal-anti-vaxxers and their free news?! What about factual verification of what’s published online?? And what should I know about these things called deep fakes?
The concept of Truth has been stretched thin in the 21st century. The only person you can trust is yourself. So learn how to listen in.
There are countless sources… Go have fun finding them! Call your kids. Ask for their opinion. Find some youtube personalities you like. Find podcasts and other sources who responsibly aggregate the media for you. It doesn’t have to be political. Even better — find something other than politics to anchor the media you consume. Whatever you do, don’t trust in blind faith. Almost everywhere you look today, you are being bought and sold to. Especially when you turn on the TV. There is a way out of this, but it will take development of critical inquiry. You can do it. I believe in you.