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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Social networking breeds awareness of news

    Social media is an established part of daily living in our generation. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, blogs — college students consume these things like candy. It’s a standard communication tool and a normal means of expression.

    Social networking outlets have proven themselves to be much more than a form of entertainment, and have actually demonstrated themselves as a normal way of obtaining daily news. It’s no wonder that social media networks are the most prominent source of news for college students.

    Social media networks have given the average person the chance to play reporter. Everyone has that one Facebook friend who insists on causing a full-on political debate via status update. Or when those people who you thought only followed Kim Kardashian and White Girl Problems decide to tweet their two cents about the Casey Anthony verdict. And I also am seriously convinced that I no longer need to follow up on weather reports or obtain a weather app, because I can just check my newsfeed and there’s going to be some tidbit about the outside conditions.

    However, I’m not depicting the fabulous tools that lie within social media in a poor light. I am the first to admit I have a borderline insane obsession with Twitter, and I actually get a majority of my information from following major news organizations. But, at the same time, the fact that people get a lot of their news from fellow friends and followers totally calls into question the validity of the news.

    The online social network has caused news and information to spread like wildfire. Like all giant media revolutions (the telegraph, TV broadcast, etc.), people harshly criticize the newfangled way of obtaining news. The biggest difference in this particular news format is that it’s a huge public display of opinions.

    Never before have people been given such easy access to publicly share their ideals — it’s just a few typed words and a mouse click away in an unrestricted forum. The thing about social media is that opinions are so heavily influential that sometimes it can get in the way of what news is about: sharing unbiased information.

    What is most likeable about this whole trendy news phenomenon is simply the fact that news is trendy. In my head, the equation goes something like this: Social media is trendy. Social media has a special focus on the news. Therefore, news is trendy. The fact that this generation of students is actually enjoying getting information and learning about current events is delightful. It doesn’t matter if it’s from 15 Facebook statuses about the verdict of a court case or a Twitter timeline filled with play-by-plays of the big game. Frankly, students are being supplied with information and being equipped with what they need to form their own opinions and conclusions.

    — Ashley Reid is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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