Nowadays, it is so important to read the news and be up to date on everything that is happening around the world. A good mind is one that informs itself before making a choice and voicing its opinion. But, where do you read the news? Which source do you choose? How do you know if something you are reading is reliable and trustworthy? How do you know that what you are reading is true and not tinted by another person’s opinions and beliefs? It is difficult, but you need to learn to differentiate the useful and truthful resources from those that are biased.
A lot of us get our first glimpse into the news through social media. Someone retweeted a link to an article. Your uncle posted an attention-catching title he saw the day before on his Facebook wall. A girl from Germany reblogged an essay someone wrote about global warming and you saw it on your Tumblr timeline. Just like that—with a few clicks—you get the news and new information from all over the world on your smartphone, tablet or laptop in a matter of seconds. Social media gives you easy and quick access to the entire world. However, is it trustworthy?
To so many people—particularly the older generations—social media is the most untrustworthy form of communication. They believe everything that is tweeted, posted or reblogged is fake, and that we should not believe any of it. But, how can they be so sure? How can they assure you that everything you read is a lie? How can they assure you everything they read is the truth?
The truth is that social media can be a great source of information and a great news spreader if you know how to filter through it. You will come across posts that are lies. You will be exposed to posts that emphasize only one side of the story; that hide what they do not want you to see, and that will spread negativity and hate. However, you will come across unbiased posts. You will go through posts that allow everyone to voice their opinions or that come with facts and evidence that back up what they are saying. Those are the posts you should rely on. Those are the ones you should be reading and sharing with your followers and friends. Blog posts are usually opinions and beliefs, which you can easily see because they include the writer’s feelings or personal experiences. Meanwhile, posts catalogued as news articles tend to be more factual and give the reader all the evidence and resources to back their statements.
When I come across an interesting title, I choose to read the article and decide for myself if it is trustworthy. I do not base my opinion on what the tweet or post from which I found it said. What I like to do is go through more tweets or posts about it to decide which ones have the links or evidence that are the most trustworthy. That way, social media becomes a tool. It lets me access and see multiple sources at the same time, allowing me to choose those that I believe are reliable.
With all the information we get on social media, it can be difficult to know which sources are the best. You need to do a little research and decide which newspapers, magazines, podcasts, news shows, TV shows, and vlogs are the ones you can rely on. Most times, that decision will happen based on your beliefs and views of the world. But you need to make sure that your source is giving you the truth and not their version of the truth. It is very important to stay informed, and above all, to stay informed in the proper way.
Social media is a great source, but you need to remind yourself to make sure those tweets and posts you choose to retweet or repost are the ones that are trustworthy, reliable, and honest.
Lara was born in Argentina on Christmas; raised there and in Mexico. She graduated university with a BA in Latin American Literature and then moved to America where she currently lives with her girlfriend and cat. She works at a daycare as an Infant Teacher and during her free time you’ll find her reading or watching several TV shows while drinking diet coke.