As a public relations major, I am told on a daily basis by professors how I should be paying attention to the news. In this profession, it’s expected that you know what’s going on not just in your immediate environment, but in the world as well. I certainly can’t argue with that. However, I don’t agree that it’s just PR people who should be keeping tabs on newsworthy goings-on in the world; every student in every major should.
Let’s start with a really simple and relatable example: How foolish do you feel when somebody asks you if you heard about that thing that happened in that place, and you’re like “Uhhh….what?”
Or worse, you nod and say, “Oh yeah!” and pretend to know what the heck they’re talking about.
Save yourself from that awkward situation and check out the news once in a while. You’ll feel so gosh darn smart when you can reply with confidence, “Yes, actually, I did!” Then go on and show them your well-educated demeanor.
You honestly feel so much cooler when you can be the one ASKING other people if they heard about that thing that happened the other day in that place. And when they say “no,” you can go ahead and inform them. Way to spread the knowledge, you good Samaritan, you!
Plus, the more you read the news, the more you want to read the news. It becomes a habit, and you feel disconnected and out of the loop when you don’t keep up. It’s like when you don’t get to check Facebook for a few days, am I right?
No matter what your profession is, having knowledge about what’s going on in the world around you is beneficial. Even if you work at McDonald’s, you can keep tabs on the latest in the fast food industry. Or if you work in an office all day, check out the news from the competition and impress your boss when you come up with ways to keep up with them.
It’s a common misconception that all news is boring. Certainly, some of it is, but even the boring stuff is important. You might not be into politics, for example, but having an idea about what’s going on makes you knowledgeable about your own country, and let’s you make better informed decisions in your day-to-day life.
Plus, there is always news to address what you are interested in. For example, there is a plethora of news material for me as a foodie to indulge in. And there are more quirky avenues of acquiring your news. Although accurate and informative, traditional media like ABC or The New York Times aren’t the most exciting. Try websites like Buzzfeed. Is there a lot of fluff on Buzzfeed? Yes, but they do real news too, and they present it in such an easily digestible way.
What it comes down to is that you never want to be in the dark. I know that ignorance sounds easy, and sometimes, it just feels better to turn the other cheek. But why is that when we know that ignoring something doesn’t make it go away? The best we can do is educate ourselves with what’s going on the world. There’s no better way to tackle fear than finding out as much as you can about what frightens you. For some people, that’s war. for others, it’s the latest fashion trends.
Don’t be in the dark. As college students, we’re no longer innocent children who look at the world with rose-tinted glasses. Take those glasses off and watch your local news in the morning. Even Good Morning America or the Colbert Report will update you.