Importance of being informed

February 24th, 2016



I’ve always been a bit addicted to the news. I’ve been watching Meet the Press for as long as I can remember, and early Sunday mornings as a small child were always spent sitting on my dad’s lap reading the newspaper with him and stealing sips of his bitter black coffee.


I love political coverage and constantly try my hardest to stay up to date with the here and now.


That said, I don’t expect everyone to be quite that into it. But I’m not sure if there’s anything that grinds my gears quite like someone who hasn’t got the faintest idea of what’s going on in the world. And getting your news from entertainers like Trevor Noah and John Oliver does not count.


Sure, people know that Kanye West is supposedly $53 million in debt and that Rihanna and Drake are in a music video together, but I wonder if some people have any idea who’s running for president, that Apple is refusing to unlock the phone of the San Bernardino shooter or that Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, died last week?


Many seem more concerned with the apparent budding feud between Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift than with the current presidential race.


The closest many people our age get to news is watching funny videos like the Game of Thrones/Donald Trump mash-up that’s going viral (although, I watched it and got a good chuckle out of it).


Now, I’m in no way trying to be a “news snob” of sorts. I too spend a little more time perusing Buzzfeed than I ought to.  I’ve gotten several good laughs from Chrissy Teigen’s tweets. And yes, I have watched Adele’s Grammy performance about a half dozen times.


Realistically, though, how much bearing does any of this have on our lives?


None. It has none.


I understand that it might not be fun and exciting to pick up a newspaper or listen to the morning news. But it’s so incredibly important.


If you are extremely ill-informed about the 2016 presidential race, chances are that you either don’t intend to vote, or you’re going to vote blindly, probably for whoever your parents or friends are voting.


Stop. Please. Don’t. Spend a solid ten minutes on the Internet figuring out which candidate aligns with your beliefs.


If you are at the point where you don’t have any beliefs, I am deeply concerned for you.


Here’s the thing—whoever gets elected will likely be our president for the next four to eight years, unless they do something heinous enough to be impeached. Now, you might be thinking, “the president has never had any effect on my life.” However, if you’re a member of Generation Y like myself, that’s probably because you have yet to reach full independence. Believe me—this election, regardless of who becomes president, will affect your life, plain and simple. Educate yourself and go vote for someone you believe in.


But the importance of staying informed extends beyond the presidential race. Why live with your head in the sand?  Take a couple minutes out of each day to check out the current events. Pull up Google’s news page. Install a news app on your phone. Have the Skimm’s newsletter delivered to your inbox. Stay informed.