CultureLearn

Generation Y is the most digitally connected demographic to date, yet we often struggle to keep up with current affairs happening globally. It often surprises me how many people I meet on a daily basis who have no idea of what’s going on outside their bubble of personal existence. With more ways than ever of keeping up-to-date and informed, it amazes me how so many from my generation fail to take note, or have an interest in foreign current affairs.

I’ve always had a genuine interest in current affairs; not only the news coverage that make the global headlines, but also more niche stories that many often fail to pick up on. Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris earlier this year, it sparked my revival of wanting to utilize my background in international affairs and politics, to start to purse my passion of journalism more seriously as a profession.

Currently, I am struggling to comprehend why more young people don’t make it a point to stay connected to world affairs that affect their lives in ways they may not even realize. I don’t find it relevant enough of an excuse saying ‘not enough time’ is the issue, as I see Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn on far too many mobile phones, tablets, and desktops at offices on a daily occurrence. We pre-select what we wish to indulge our brains with when going on a media binge, and sites such as BBC, CNN, and Reuters News get avoided.

I find Londoners read print newspapers far more frequently than Americans, as it often makes the notion of personal space on the morning and evening tube commute home a bit difficult. Either way, print media is dying, and the way we consume news is becoming exclusively digital. Previously in times past, it was assumed that individuals in society keep themselves informed with politics and current affairs, as it generally affect their futures and well-being. Today, its appears to me too often that we have lost this approach of preserving the importance of keeping the culture of current affairs relevant in young people’s lives.

With so many news outlets in various languages, diverse viewpoints and political leanings, I don’t understand why more people don’t make it a point as part of the day to tune and learn what’s developing around the world. Social media does a good job of reaching out to audiences that would not necessarily have exposure to certain current affairs, but it often makes me laugh when I overhear discussions of young people asking what ‘ISIS’ is and wonder why it is trending on Twitter.

There’s a plethora of important events happening daily, and it’s a shame we don’t make it a point to tune in and analyze how they affect our direct lives. Believe it or not, in some indirect aspect, the conflict in Ukraine, continued rise of ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Ash-Sham) and Boko Haram’s continued havoc causing trouble in Africa pave the future landscape of Generation Y a great deal.

It’s easier than ever to start paying attention to current affairs. Whether it be on a local or global level, there are vast news outlets and mobile apps that make receiving and sharing news accessible. Checking the news shouldn’t be a chore, but rather, a part of our daily routines.

We as human beings should feel in sync with how events unfold, and how others’ actions affect our daily routines. Incorporating your social media existence into current affairs is a fantastic outlet to get started if you struggle to make it to the BBC’s or CNN’s homepage. Simply connecting with several of your favorite print or media news entities on sites like Facebook and Twitter can significantly add the most important and breaking stories into your world.

The means to get involved and have further immersion is easier and more convenient than ever before. The younger and earlier you start reading about current events and following what goes on around you, the more informed your life will become.

Image: Jon Ottosson

CultureSkills

Every second, minute, and hour of every day, something is happening in the world. While we might not be there to experience these moments in time firsthand, there are news reporters, journalists, and eye witnesses ready to give us a rundown of what is going on. Some news stations are biased and may or may not report the entire truth, others probably don’t care too much about the truth. Whatever the case may be, it’s up to you to decide who you want to believe and who you don’t want to believe. Not everyone speaking into a camera is going to tell you the truth and not everyone is going to tell you a lie. This is why you have to use your own discretion when consuming media reported news.

No one can tell you which news station or online magazine is the most credible. This is only because credibility is such a broad term, and the same news outlet that is deemed credible to one person may be deemed untrustworthy by another. For example, there are people who like CNN, but there are others who don’t. The same can be said for any other news channel that people watch. Having people who dislike CNN or any other news channel doesn’t devalue that channel in any way. It just means that people have different criterion for credibility. However, even if you do have a good sense of which news sources are credible to you, the important thing to remember is not to be biased. Don’t take what you hear or see at face value just because your favorite reporter or writer said something happened. They might not have all the facts or even the right facts.

Do your own research; try to confirm what is being said. You have a right to know what’s going on in the word around you. So what if you can’t be aware of everything that goes on? That doesn’t mean you can’t be well-informed about the things you are aware of. Question everything you read, see, and hear. Don’t just go along with what is being said because if you do, you are doing a disservice to yourself. Young people have the power to make a difference, but we can’t do that if we are in a state of obliviousness and if we are constantly unaware of what is going on around us.

The less we pay attention, the more disconnected we become from the rest of the world. Quite a few of my peers say that they don’t care about what happens in other countries or even other cities and states because it doesn’t directly affect them. If you are a person who shares those same sentiments, keep in mind that even if something doesn’t directly affect you, it will still indirectly affect you. You might not realize that now but we don’t often see the things that affect us until it hits close to home.

Question everything. See what’s going on yourself instead of only relying on news reporters to provide you with information. You are not just a resident of a city, state, or town. You are not just a citizen of your country, either. You are a citizen of the world, and the more you know, the more connected you will be. People think that borders and large bodies of water separate us from each other, but really it’s the things we don’t know that drives us apart.

Image: Barzan Qtr