One right guaranteed to us by the First Amendment is freedom of the press. That being said, there are many ways to get stories out to the general public. Whether it’s social media, TV news or newspapers, consumers are constantly being fed information.
For most high school students, it’s safe to say that the majority of our news comes from social media, especially TikTok. Because TikTok isn’t entirely reliable, often when current events are discussed, there’s an incredible amount of “what really happened” depictions. It can be quite fun to listen to the variety of stories obtained through these so-called “trustworthy sources” that are famous TikTokers.
Twitter also seems to have the populace in its grip when it comes to news. Again, Twitter isn’t exactly the best way to get real facts. However, it can provide comical drama between people who would otherwise never speak to each other. Additionally, since responses are such a big part of Twitter’s success, it’s easy to see that there are many different perspectives that can help us form our own opinions on the subject.
On the plus side, I have a more no-nonsense method of getting messages. At my school we have a current event on Fridays. We need to research an event we want to discuss and write a brief synopsis. Our history teacher then asks what comments we have; As a result, we got into some lengthy debates on various topics with other students. He often adds his opinion as well, which keeps us on our toes and puzzles how he’ll react to our obscure stories.
Keeping up with the news can sometimes feel like a chore. Getting information from Twitter and TikTok is so much more convenient than looking up an article and then fact-checking it. I really want to believe that people on TikTok are telling me the truth because it’s just so easy, and sometimes it’s pretty easy to spot incorrect information. This might make me seem like a lazy person, but since I don’t have to vote yet, I guess it’s ok. As I get older and stop doing sports that drain my free time, I will actually do my research on current events and use various sources to get the full picture. Additionally, I think it’s important for those who want to vote to stay current so they can vote for the person they think is best suited for the job.
Social media has definitely changed the way news spreads. Because of this, I believe fake news seems to be perpetuated on many platforms. This can cause many problems in our society. On the other hand, teenagers may become experts at recognizing when a story is false. All in all, the means by which we inform ourselves and how often we keep ourselves up to date can certainly become a mistake if we always believe that what we read is automatically correct.