Magazine Opinions Volume 69, Issue 4

What You Should Know

I worry for the sake of humanity: What will happen to us if we believe everything we see? This is a fault in the world and as Ms. Gieleghem would say, “It’s not your fault, it’s your problem.” 

     Teachers’ jobs are to prepare students for their futures, and when I say teachers, I don’t just mean school teachers, I mean parents, friends, and the internet. Key skills often fall through the cracks and one in particular has been bothering me. Most people have never learned the difference between factual argumets and opinions. 

     We learn things from our parents, our friends, and everything we see on the internet. I’m here to say that EVERYONE, adults, teens, and children alike should question the factuality of everything they read. Just simple questions to drill into your minds: Is this valid? Would evidence prove this point? 

     This day in age, with articles swarming the internet and filling our ears with stories, nothing is more crucial. I think people tend to believe whatever they’re told. Some article about why Meghan Markle shouldn’t be a royal, or a split between a celebrity couple without a quote from one of them, these, among literally all of them, are articles that you need to question. Are they valid? 

     I’ve unconsciously been thinking about this idea since the uprise of fake news and the election of 2016. Honestly, when political news started heating up, I went through waves of paying attention and dismissing it. This year I realized that I avoid the news when I get sick of sorting through articles waded down with opinions. 

     Every week my mom yells from our rec room “Come on Grace we’re watching Rachel Maddow!” and then proceeds to be disappointed that I don’t want to watch it with her. She’ll say “Things are happening that have never happened before and you should be more aware,” and I agree with her, but it seems to me that every platform I know of just tells me a version of the truth in the voice of some reporter who did or didn’t agree with it. 

     To the adults reading this, please ask yourselves, what are you teaching the next generation? Simply tell them the facts and let them decide for themselves.

     Personally, I want facts, but often, I am too lazy to read a dozen articles to check the factuality of an argument. At least I know I should do that, but it doesn’t help the problem. I still reference news that I didn’t double check.

Some of you may wonder, is it even possible for news to be nonbiased? My answer is yes. It’s simple: statistics. And yet, I seek to tell the world of my worry through this opinionated article. I apologize for being a hypocrite, but hopefully I made you question something while you read this.