Recent events have made it clear that people in positions of power cannot be trusted to tell the truth about major issues. We see this with President Trump’s constant lies, his efforts to cover up his misdeeds, and the many reports of political corruption across the board.
In addition to this, we no longer can assume that the media will always serve as an unbiased source of information. Many journalists are biased toward certain parties or ideologies, which further contributes to skewed narratives.
Reading and listening to the news is important because it helps you stay informed. Obviously, not reading or listening enough can hinder your understanding of current affairs, but being too focused on only one topic at a time is just as detrimental.
By adding other sources of knowledge, you gain more insights into what’s happening in the world. You also get a better sense of how much trust you can put in different sources and if they’re reliable, even when they disagree.
Furthermore, studying how well someone else‘s viewpoint matches yours gives you new perspectives and opportunities to form opinions. Plus, knowing some basics about the history of past revolutions can help you understand why things happened the way they did.
Your financial health
How well you handle your money is an important part of staying healthy as a person. People spend lots of time talking about how much money they make, but few talk about what kind of savings they have or whether they understand basic personal finance concepts like investing!
If you’re in debt, spending more than you earn, you can put some stressors aside because you will be able to pay off your debts (slowly) under normal circumstances.
But for people who are living within their means and have adequate savings, it sets up a situation where life could change suddenly — something that many people don’t prepare for.
A serious illness, a house burning down, or even a lucky win on the lottery might mean going into bankruptcy, which would very seriously hurt your credit rating.
It’s also possible that large unexpected medical bills and lost income would force you to go back into debt, putting you at risk of further problems.
So why should we care if we know how to read, listen to and watch the news? Because knowing these things makes us more informed individuals and solid citizens.
We’ll probably know more about our governments and leaders, and may be aware of potential scandals before they get out far enough to spread across the media. The same goes for business dealings and rumors surrounding politicians and public figures.
Having an understanding of what is happening in the world around you means preventing things from reaching a crisis level. This is important because we as humans are drawn into all sorts of situations that require us to watch or listen to the news.
We become too involved, and distracted by the stories we hear and read. At times, these distractions can be positive, like when there is breaking news about a hurricane or earthquake. But at other times, it can contribute to violence and chaos.
There have been many cases where people do not know how to handle an event, so they go outside to settle their nerves and this sometimes leads to more problems.
On top of that, social media sites can influence how people feel, creating even more tension. All of these factors add up to individuals reacting poorly to each other.
This is why it is crucial to stay informed by reading newspapers, listening to radio programs, and watching television. Letting yourself grow numb to current events only makes matters worse in a stressful situation.
The state of the world
We are in a constant state of crisis, with wars raging across the globe and natural disasters wreaking havoc everywhere. There have been major global health epidemics like Ebola and Zika, along with frequent instances of deadly terrorism.
In fact, there has never been a more urgent time for you as an informed citizen. You need to read the newspaper every day to understand what is happening in the world – not just at the national level but also regional and international.
You should be listening to or watching the news all the time, even if you don’t agree with what they are saying. Because whether you believe them or not, the media play a significant role in shaping public opinion and perceptions around politics, society, education, and our understanding of complex issues.
It’s their job!
There are many reasons why it is important to be well-informed, from protecting your personal safety to advancing your career. But one of the biggest is that being informed makes you think about things differently.
That is what we want here at Merck — to help people think beyond “us” versus “them” by educating them on who “they” are. A lot of times, when people hear something controversial, they go into automatic defense mode and use logical arguments to prove why the other person is wrong.
But none of those proofs really address the root cause of the argument.
Recognize the news for what it is
We as humans love to be informed, we like to know what’s going on in the world. I think one of the biggest reasons why this is happens is because we are always seeking answers to questions that have been piling up inside of us for some time now.
We ask ourselves things such as “why are things so bad right now?” or “what can I do to make sure my family is safe?” Or maybe you’re asking yourself more fundamental questions such as “What does it mean to be a person and live your life according to moral principles?” or even just “Does God exist?”.
All of these questions need answers at least once in their lives!
So, when someone else has a question about something, we tend to tell them they should read about it, watch the documentary or listen to the audiobook that we recommend by chance, but often times we don’t give much consideration to whether or not their decision to read, watch or listen will actually help them find the answer.
I understand how hard it can be to prioritize other people and their needs over your own sometimes, but it’s important to remember that reading an article online might not be the best way to get the most meaningful information.
Follow your instincts
As we live in an increasingly connected world, it is easy to get distracted by all of the things you have access to online. You can read news stories, watch videos, chat with friends, and surf the web for hours without really paying attention to anything.
This is bad because it impacts how well you understand the world around you and what is happening in the world.
It also helps shape your worldview – whether that’s through listening to media that espouses an agenda or eliminating any kind of media from your life so you are only exposed to pure information free from bias.
News reports can be biased, but this does not make them wrong. It may just make them less effective at changing people’s minds.
By having alternative sources of info, you increase your capacity for understanding different perspectives. You become more aware and conscious – which are both good qualities.
Furthermore, when you spend time reading the paper or watching TV, you develop skills related to concentration and focus.
Whether you agree or disagree with what you hear, such exposure helps you form opinions outside of immediate emotional impulses.
Reading, listening to, and studying hard-news material is one way to do this. But there is no single source that is “harder” than another – it depends on what you expect from informed journalism.
Learn to laugh at bad situations
We as humans develop attachments to things, people, and concepts. When you have these attachments, you want to keep them alive by reading their material about them.
You may also need to read their material frequently because they play an important role in your life. For example, if you are invested in sports, you will watch games and understand why the teams do what they do.
This understanding helps you feel more connected to the game and the players. You become less emotional when the next player gets motivated or de-motivated.
On top of that, you can use this information to compare yourself or the sport to see how much influence it has on others. This makes you feel better about yourself and the activity.
It is also important to learn how to laugh at poor decisions made by individuals or organizations. A lot of times, someone will say or do something so ridiculous that you cannot help but crack a smile.
Learn the difference between what you think is important and what is really important
We as humans have a tendency to get our information mostly from one source, be it television, online news sites, podcasts, or even conversations with people around us.
As we know, media can influence how people feel about things, but they also learn about things from the media. For example, if there are many reports of someone doing something bad, they will probably associate that behavior with them and avoid them.
On the other hand, if everyone is talking about an event, person, or concept, then most likely you will want to go watch, attend, or talk about it yourself.
We get so used to being informed by the same source every day, that when they no longer do that, we don’t pay attention to the world around us as much.
It’s like when you eat at a restaurant for work almost every day, so you never make your own food anymore. You may not believe in eating only processed foods, but you would notice that your health was poorer than before.
By adding more sources of knowledge into your life, you’re investing in yourself. You’ll be bettering your understanding of various subjects and staying aware of what’s happening outside of your community.
The ever-growing dependence we have on technology has made us increasingly isolated. With every device that you use, you are sharing more information with others and exposing yourself to new ideas and concepts.
However, this also means that you are exposed to negative influences and messages for much longer than before. Technology gives people access to create influence groups or “tribes” of people with similar beliefs and values.
These tribes can be supportive (“This product is good so I will buy it!”) or discouraging (“My body needs this medicine so I must take it even if it isn’t for me!”).
By staying within these confines, your self-image becomes aligned with those around you, which creates internalized stigma. You feel bad about yourself because of what other people think of you, not because of what you think of yourself.
In fact, studies show that extended exposure to stigmatizing content makes individuals feel better about themselves.
It may even motivate them to make changes in their lives to reduce such exposures and promote their own personal growth.
We live in an era where anyone can broadcast anything at any time, creating a very open environment. This openness allows for greater opportunities to hear both positive and negative stories about different topics.
As discussed earlier, experiencing a lot of negativity can have lasting effects on one’s mental health. It can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety or reinforce harmful behaviors.