Plenty of students know all about Miley Cyrus. Some know her MTV Music Video Awards performance by heart. Some jaws dropped and others burst out in laughter while watching the awards, but what baffled me most was what followed.
As my Facebook newsfeed quickly became cluttered with Buzzfeed links with labels along the lines of “Most Shocking Miley Moments,” I couldn’t help but think of what was more shocking—how rapidly studies and articles surfaced about the controversial show Cyrus put on stage, or how little many people I spoke with cared to know about what was going on in Syria.
Then I wondered, is it just “bad news” people don’t like?
I’ve heard “I don’t pay attention to the news because it’s all sad” countless times, but what frustrates me more than when people choose to ignore what is happening before their very eyes is feeling like you can’t do anything about the bad news that stares back at you in bold fonts and the big screen.
Have people given up on making a difference? Have readers become immune to their emotions while reading about the numbers of citizens killed in Afghanistan, or the threats that fire back and forth between the nations of the world? Perhaps readers and reporters alike are desensitized, accustomed to these tragedies.
I find myself guilty of seeing links to tragic stories of death and inhumanity, then my eyes darting to something happier as I scroll down webpages.
But what am I gaining when I do that? That closed mindset has held me back from educating myself on my surroundings.
As Keene State College students, I believe we have a right to take back the news.
We have a right to see or read something we don’t like, and change it.
Young people should feel a sense of responsibility for how the world is going to turn out as we age, and the first step students and young people alike can take is informing themselves about the planet we live on.
Next time you’re about to turn off the news because the breaking story is upsetting, I urge you to think twice and hear the story out.
As Anne-Marie Mallon, an english professor at KSC once told me, “This is the world. And you can either run from it, or you can learn from it.”
Brittany Ballantyne can be contacted at email@example.com