It doesn’t take much for a story to go viral on social media. Newsworthy or not, many stories find their way into your news feed and overwhelm the nation’s attention. This past week we saw two major fiascoes with both Pepsi and United Airlines making mistakes in customer relations and advertising.
And while these were important events, they seemed to overwhelm real concerns that the rest of the world was facing.
Tensions with Syria and Russia were on the rise, the White House changed policy on certain aspects of the economy and Sean Spicer almost put himself out of a job with his comments on Adolf Hitler. But these stories were drowned out at a time when it’s important that we pay attention to them.
This isn’t to discredit or make light of the actions taken by United Airlines, or the tone-deaf commercial by Pepsi, but the country is facing much larger crises.
So how do you filter out what’s important and what isn’t? Much of it has to do with what you value and what news is important to you as an individual. If you were in public relations, or aviation, this week the United Airlines story might have been the largest of the week. But for the rest of the country the emphasis should still be on finding truth in your news sources.
Here are a couple of tips for getting better, and more realistic news.
First, there is a large difference between news aggregators and news sources. News sources go and find stories, uncover them, and report them to their audiences. News aggregators tend to editorialize and share their news in a much different way. These differences cause a larger divide in our understanding of many stories. By opening up and finding your news outside of social media, you’ll generally be more aware of larger scale issues and the facts associated with those.
Second, be aware of how each story will affect the country and you now and in the future. There is a common trend to be shortsighted in how we look at our news. But by having a deeper understanding of how each story could affect the future, you’ll become more embedded in this news.
It’s up to us as the audience to decide what we want to hear, read, and watch. And it’s important that we push our news sources to provide us the best, most factual, and important stories of the day. Without the proper facts and information we’ll all be caught following what’s trending rather than what’s important.
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