How Do I Interact with Social Media

Every morning, when I wake up and every night, before I go to sleep, I look through social media. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Tumblr is what I use the most. I wouldn’t technically call Instagram a news outlet, at least that’s isn’t how I use it. I get most of my news from Facebook. But most of the time, I’m not looking for anything specific. I just surf through my feed, reposting/reblogging, liking or disliking posts and videos. Most of the time, I’m not even really paying attention, it’s as if I go on autopilot, just skimming through the life on social media.

Sometimes though, I do pay a bit more attention than usual. For instance, yesterday I saw that a really great actor passed away, Bill Paxton. Now, Facebook was mostly filled with political views and news about the Oscars, but through it all, here and there, I saw a few memorial posts about him. I definitely think that social media, all social media-not just Facebook, filters news. The biggest things in news, and frankly something I really starting to get sick of hearing and reading about, is politics. President Trump and what stupid decision he has made this time. Snapchat is also filtered but the thing that I like about Snapchat is that it has news stories that you wouldn’t normally find on let’s say Facebook or Tumblr. For instance, The Dodo, Now This, and National Geographic has stories, that for my liking, revolve around animals and other heartwarming stories that don’t always make you question humanity. So it’s refreshing to read something happy then the usual news, that’s no doubt hard hitting, but can also be depressing or frustrating.

But when I am interested in learning about the hard hitting news or hear something from a friend or family member that I want clarified or know to be true, Facebook is usually the one I go to. I can always rely on facebook to bring me any news whether it be true or fake. Though I don’t actually follow any news channel’s pages, which now that I think about it I probably should, my feed still somehow fills up with news videos or articles that people share about comment on. Usually, when it’s something related to politics, particularly Donald Trump, I try to stay clear of it, mostly because he’s not really my favorite person.

Facebook’s recent update, or at least recent on my phone is that a video will play automatically without even having to press play. So sometimes, when this happens, it catches my eyes and I can’t seem to look away. I think this is a big advantage used by Facebook. If any video can play without having the user to much, since we live in a time that says “the easier and faster the better”, this technique helps our society get what they want. This also can be effective for the usage of news videos. Since some people, including myself, don’t always go looking for news, if it just happens to pop up in my feed and plays automatically, I probably won’t stop it because it will catch my attention right away.

I think any social media site has a clever way of capturing my attention, whether I notice it or not. But I think it is important that I start paying more attention so I can recognize what is happening and how I’m gaining the news. I think I would benefit a lot if I started following news channel’s Facebook page so at least I know that the content I am gaining is credible. I also think that I would be better off if I did start looking for the news, just so I can be in-the-know instead of hearing other people’s opinion from my friends, family, or some random person on the radio. I sort of talked about this before, but I’m not sure if I made it clear; I like learning about what’s happening in the news via videos rather than reading about something. Of course, if I have to read it I will. For instance, we get a weekly newspaper from our town, that is based around anything happening in our town, so local news type of stories. My dad and I like reading that, but that’s usually the only newspaper I enjoy reading. Everything else for me is a video. So I think if I was to pay more attention to the news, I would either watch it on the channel’s Facebook page or start watching it on TV.

I think the reason that I was never really interested in the news is because ever since the recent election, I just found the news to be redundant and opinionated instead of new facts and being accurate, or even being something good. Lately, it’s just been about terrible things that happen across the nation or in D.C. or across the ocean. I’m not saying that those aren’t important because they are, but sometimes I’d like to hear something good that has happened. Even though the news isn’t as pleasant as I wish it could be, I am going to start paying more attention to the news and find news instead of waiting for it to find me.