When we talk about the mounting problems of our nation, each side of the political divide criticizes the other for more or less the same things.
Lack of understanding and thought.
However, as the country has soared deeper and deeper into the turmoil of political divide, the amount of Americans participating in such a careless manner seem to know no bounds with people often sharing stories akin to The Onion more so than The New York Times.
According to a Pew Research Center study published Sept. 6, 67 percent of just under 5,000 American adults report getting some of their news via social media at some point.
This is further backed by a 2016 study conducted by the Eschelon Insights and Hart Research that indicates that adults ages 18 to 49 trust news and political information shared from friends more than news delivered from other sources.
Sharing news via social media isn’t always a bad thing. The immediacy of social media often allows news from credible sources to spread at a faster rate than it would have otherwise. However, the problem begins when the “news” that is spreading is coming from sources such as InfoWars and Liberty News Writers.
Websites such as these tend to push an agenda. One that is more intended on sensationalizing rumors or conspiracy theories. They often times use very little journalistic work, rarely operate with the set of ethics that come with the industry, seldomly support their news stories with sources and will sometimes simply twist information they find from other websites to suit whatever political party that makes up their audience.
About two-thirds of American adults are getting “at least some of their news on social media” with two in 10 doing so often, according to the Pew Research study.
In the months leading up to the 2016 election, ridiculous stories were shared across all platforms and while some of the population scrolled by with no more than a passing glance, a large majority sat and gawked, believing every word that these stories suggested.
Despite there being stacks of evidence against it, many people still think that the pope endorsed Donald Trump for president.
Instead of brushing this fact off as funny or dismissing it with no more than a roll of our eyes, the public should be terrified about what this information means for the state of our nation.
As the beginning of the Mueller investigation begins to unfold, Trump’s supporters will not believe a word against him, whether from the pages of The Washington Post or even from the pages of documents released from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Several websites that claim to support conservative values tend to portray the president in a light that he is generally undeserving of. There are several sites that lean to the left that are also guilty of this disastrous trend. These traits do not bode will for the shaky relationship between the public and the media.
There is, however, a light in this darkness.
According to an article published by Politico, publications such as The New Yorker have seen a high rise in subscribers ages 18-34 by 106 percent and a 129 percent increase in subscribers ages 25-35. Similar cases exist for sources like The Atlantic, The Washington Post and The New York Times.
This suggests that young adults are becoming increasingly aware of this pressing issue and are properly accommodating themselves in an admiring attempt to properly educate themselves with consistent and reasonable news sources.
The nation is crumbling at the hands of people that care more for their own fates than they do for our country’s place in history, the nation that we all claim to care so deeply about is seen as either an international joke or as a threat to its own citizens.
The need for good news is as strong as the need for people that care about it. A well-informed population can and will turn the tides of our nation’s course in history.