Media Literacy Is Crucial In This Age Of Misinformation

The Age Of Unlimited Information

We live in a world with unlimited access to essentially all the information that has been written about, photographed, illustrated or made known to human beings. So, in theory, we should have a society that is well informed, full of lateral thinkers & creatives.

However, that is not the case at all.

While the internet provides access to a huge amount of information, the quantity can be overwhelming. People struggle to sift through the volumes of content, making it difficult to tell credible sources from unreliable ones. Which is why we still see our nannus using their Facebook timelines to discuss how our cell phones were actually created by the illuminati…

Instant Gratification

The issue partially comes from the age of on-demand entertainment & easily digestible content on social media. They have created a generation of people that have a constant need for instant gratification.

It’s hard to only fault young people for not having the attention span to read a full article. That requires putting an amount of energy & effort which you simply don’t have to use while browsing through socials.

It’s how we’ve been raised. The convenience of learning from 10 second clips has become a hallmark of modern life.

Via UN

The Root Of Disconnection

Where could the root of demotivation & disconnection towards being informed be coming from? Is it from lack of proper education at school? Is it peer pressure? Or is it the rise of ignorant influential individuals reaching young people with easily consumable but ultimately harmful content?

Once a content piece goes viral - no matter how untrue - if it’s easier to consume than the truth, online users can easily fall into the trap of disregarding a need for further questioning.

It becomes more convenient to check out of the conversation & continue spreading misinformation with just a click of a button or tap of a finger.

Belonging Over Real Facts

It could also be that  it’s easier to believe in what everyone else is believing in. It’s harder to realise that information can be false when everyone around you insists on it being the truth.

Human beings are fundamentally social creatures & a strong desire for acceptance & belonging drives many of our behaviours.

With the lack of motivation towards learning, it’s easier to just align with someone else’s beliefs. Because of the lack of knowledge to form an independent opinion, we end up with people vomiting key phrases back out without truly understanding what they’re saying.

How Can It Be Fixed?

Now, more than ever, it’s important that critical thinking skills are emphasised & utilised in and out of school. At the end of the day, people should be questioning, evaluating & processing the excess flood of information that they receive from the internet.

We should all be encouraging media diversity for consumers. Education can’t only be done through thousand word essays, but it should also never just be taken from TikToks or Instagram swipes.

As long as people continue to only get their information from biased sources, we will never have a society which promotes a variety of perspectives & diverse streams of thought.

What Are Your Thoughts On The Way People Consume Information?

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