Media Literacy

Image via Inforrm’s Blog

As social media is becoming more prominent in our daily lives, many people are solely using these platforms to access news. Although social media does allow for news to spread quickly, it is important to make sure you understand media literacy and how to detect fake news versus real news.

Something that I have noticed, especially with high school and college students, is that many people feel pressured to post about issues that are occurring in the world, whether or not they are educated enough or qualified to post about these topics. Specifically, during the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, many people felt that they had to post a black square on their Instagram feed. However, solely posting a black square on Instagram with the Black Lives Matter hashtag prevented posts with actual information from being shared since only black squares would show under the hashtag. Additionally, I remember seeing posts that said, “If you don’t post for Black Lives Matter, you are no longer my friend.” Because of posts like these, many people would post the first thing they saw, even if it was not entirely accurate.

Similarly, many influencers were getting canceled for not speaking up about the Black Lives Matter movement. Although it is important for everyone to educate themselves about what is going on, no one should feel pressured to post about it, especially if they do not feel as if they are qualified enough to do so. This mentality is causing people to post about certain issues just for the sake of posting, without truly reading and understanding what is going on.

One way to ensure that the media you read is not biased is to read news articles from both sides of the political spectrum. Even if you identify with one side more, reading both sides will allow you to be more educated about the topic and to better form your own opinions as you now know both parties’ beliefs. Also, if you see a news post on social media, don’t immediately believe it. Do your own research to make sure that it is accurate by checking other news sources as well.