Last week, I learned a valuable lesson through a viral video of a Native American veteran seemingly being taunted by teenage boys wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.
I scrolled past the video multiple times on Reddit, Twitter and Facebook and formed a concrete opinion without doing further research. I fell hard for misleading news, like an eccentric grandma on social media.
More footage of the events surfaced which suggests we are missing one side of the story. The initial report isn’t exactly “fake news,” but it is lacking important context.
Regardless of who is right, this whirlwind of a news story is a prime example of the importance of waiting for all the details.
People tend to evaluate news emotionally instead of logically. They do not read news from sources with different points of view than their own, and they don’t read past the headlines.
It is admittedly difficult to be well-read in 2019 because of the instant nature of the news cycle and how busy we are daily.
Instant news isn’t necessarily a great thing. It has to be timely which means fact-checking and details can be overlooked.
I believe most of us only know the gist of current events instead of having a good grasp on the details.
There’s almost too much news from too many sources to personally read and evaluate.
We cheapen the values we promote and we damage our credibility with ignorance when we skim headlines and let our political biases manipulate the facts.
After this experience, my New Year’s resolution is to only form opinions after consuming news more carefully and from more than one source.