Quick guide to read news. Or how to stop living in the world of lollipops and unicorns
Back in the middle school , in the Spanish literature classroom one of the topics we studied was journalism. Of course was very basic, but the first thing tough us, was, always contrast the news, and check the source while reading a new.
That’s not a thing that many people do often, and i don’t think anyone does it in every single new they read or hear, but if you are watching the news on TV or reading a newspaper, you can have a rough idea, from which political spectrum or ideology the new came from.
Because as they might try to sell us, that media should have a neutral opinion on the news, we all know that’s very far from the truth. Knowing who wrote it and from what media the new comes, is as important as the content of it.
Everyone tries to get their information, from sources that are similar to their opinions, its in our own nature, to try to avoid hearing opinions that we don’t like, and it’s this very natural behavior, which in the internet era it constitutes a massive threat on people having opinions, built on solid foundations.
In a time, that we have more reach to information than ever, you would think, that your are a well informed person. You don’t read mainstream media, you think that you are not manipulated, because you don’t swallow CNN or Fox news bullshit. You are so cool, and so rebel, a real anti system, and everything you post on your social media, is to change the world into a better place.
Well my friend, most likely you are wrong, most likely you are another sheep, regurgitating, some ideas, that someone share, not because they are right, but because they make you feel better.
Today more than ever, even with the amount of information we can access, we are more isolated than ever in our own opinions, and this is why.
Open your social media pages, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit. Scroll down as you always do, or just go check with pages you follow. I bet my right hand, that every single page is in concordance with you ideas. Weather you are Vegan, Trump supporter, Christian or Atheist, no single source of information that you follow on the internet is gonna be remotely far from your comfort zone.
Back in the day no matter how one sided a media was, there was always, some TV reporter, or writer, that would go against is own media, and say something, that you would not want to hear, but you would have to swallow it.
Now days, in a time were we can completely choose,what we wanna hear, getting out of the self licking asshole, that we put ourselves, is more challenging than ever. Before media would try to make us swallow their shit, now we just swallow our own.
Social media is not helping us to fight our own nature mentioned before.
How many times, you scrolled down to some new that you did’t like from the title? or even worse, how many times, how many times we heard ? “ Oh yah i had to unfollow person X, because of the things he post”
How we going to build any solid opinion if we don’t even have capacity to listen to others?
But the only danger is not only our self inflicted isolation from other opinions. Today equally as dangerous, is the fact that all the news have the same value, doesn’t matter where they come from.
Well all the news should have it no? At the end they are news, and we should hear all opinions right? Absolutely not.
The main cause of confusion today, is that while you scroll down your news, they all have the same value. An article written by an 30 year experienced noble price doctor, can be followed by a burn out actress giving her opinion about healing stones, and for the reader it will have the same value.
While you are reading an article in an proper scientific magazine, you already know that it is going to have more value than in yellow press paper like the Sun. But not in the vacuum of sources that is the internet, where sources get faded, identities can be supplanted, and ideas can be twisted to mean something different.
So in a time where we have access to so much sadly information, we have to put way more effort to be well informed. Here are few steps to achieve be a better informed person. You are going to fight a lot with yourself to achieve it.
- Go to your social media, and start following people and pages that are totally opposite of what you believe, go follow trump if you are a left wing person. Are you Christian? start following atheist people, or vice versa. Activist vegan? well you already know what you have to do. Stop licking your own balls, is hard, but you need to stop reading to feel better and start reading to learn more
- Always be skeptical. Every time you read a new, the first question you should ask is, who is the main person or group benefit and or attacked with this new. News are always delivered under opinions and interest, so once you find out who is the new supporting, go check on them and find out what is their interest, find out they are trying to accomplish and you will already know, how much you can trust the new.
- Always check what the other side have to say. The other guys always gonna be the bad ones,but for many people you are always gonna be the other guy. You might be reading about how bad Iran is with their nuclear program, well take a second, find some Iranian news paper and check what they have to say about the topic. Who knows you might find out that at the end those Russians and Chinese are not as evil as you think.
- Find the source, it might be challenging, but now days getting deceived by headlines is an everyday routine. You might be thinking that you are listening to one think and ending finding out, that the message is completely different, it might be a good way to listen to something new, but if someone need to lie to transmit what he want to say, probably is not a good start. Here is a clear example, even i am totally agree with what he said, he is luring Theist people to listen to him with confusing headline. This happens way to often in every single topic
5. Criticize yourself, all our ideas come from somewhere is that is not only ourselves. Remember, we always wanna try to listen what we want, and stay in our comfort zone is our nature. So you need to think constantly that you are wrong, that your opinions might be bias, but many factors and that at the end of the day, feeling good is naturally more powerful that knowing truth.
The truth is not absolute, the world is a labyrinth of ideas and interest, from many and very different people. The only way to approach yourself to the truth, is to get your head out your ass, and try to understand as many opinions as you can. Is in the middle of that labyrinth where all the roads cross, where the truth is.