The best room in a sorority house is hands down the TV room. It’s somewhere you can almost always go if you want to have a little company, recovery time from last night and endless possibilities of entertainment. You can usually find Law and Order: SVU, Grey’s Anatomy or The Bachelorette playing back to back on the television. But, there is one thing that is never on: the news.
And this isn’t something that just happens in sorority houses. I’ve noticed a disturbing amount of 18 to 20-somethings that don’t have an interest of what is going on an ocean or even just a state away.
I too often hear that people don’t feel like keeping up with the news because the events happening don’t affect their world directly. But why does something have to have a direct effect on your life for you to care? Millions of people tune in to the Kardashian’s every week, but last time I checked the latest Kardashian drama has no direct effect on 99.9 percent of the population.
And why is that? Why do many of us care more about Kim Kardashian’s wedding than about conflicts in the Middle East or even our own economy? Chances are that while you don’t know a Kardashian, you know someone in the military. And if you didn’t know, Iraq is currently battling terrorist forces that took over the country’s second biggest city. If this continues, there is always the slight possibility the United States will intervene by sending troops to the area. Next thing you know, one of your friend’s siblings or cousins are out fighting in the Middle East. If one of your friend’s loved ones is being sent off to fight in a foreign country, don’t you think you should care about WHY they are there?
Additionally, I’m sure the majority of you are planning on watching the World Cup throughout the next few weeks, but are you informed of some of the controversies behind it? You may be excited to catch some games at happy hour, but many citizens of Brazil are protesting the country’s decision to spend millions on stadiums when they feel they don’t have adequate health care or education systems.
Plenty of people also say they don’t have the time to read or watch the news when I know hours are spent scrolling through Instagram feeds or checking out BuzzFeed’s recent list on “17 Totally Fetch Facts You Might Not Know About ‘Mean Girls'”. Instead of spending idle time Facebook stalking, just download the apps for FOX or CNN. You can easily scan through the day’s top news without taking a second out of your day or get alerts to your phone of breaking news stories.
I understand your Twitter timeline may seem more interesting to you than a news app. I also realize watching sports or reality TV can provide more entertainment than MSNBC, and I know picking up the latest issues of Cosmopolitan may be more appealing than the Washington Post. But, it’s a basic principle in life that sometimes you have to make sacrifices. You may want to binge watch the new season of Orange is the New Black, but have some self-control and take a newsbreak in between episodes.
There should be no more excuses. Keeping up with current events can’t hurt you, it can only help better yourself. You’re going to impress your college professor or someone interviewing you for a job a lot more with knowledge on the events going on in the world than entertainment television. And as corny as it sounds, before we know it our generation will be the ones teaching the classes and giving the interviews. If we are the future, it’s important to learn from the past mistakes of others. Whether you are a business or biology major, watching the news gives you insight into how certain actions lead to success while others lead to failures.
So start raising the expectations you set for yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s through an app, TV, or the newspaper – push yourself to dedicate even just a couple minutes of your day to current events. You might even surprise yourself and realize the news can prove to be entertaining too. Let’s make sure Gen-Y doesn’t turn into the “Me Generation” or the “Clueless Generation,” but instead becomes something revolutionary. One day we’ll be the ones that can change the world, but not if we fry our brains with only E News.
Featured image via flickr