I don’t read the news. The reason for this is because I do not understand it about seventy percent of the time. I don’t know who the leader of Iran is right now, I don’t understand the nuances of Obamacare, and I don’t know who just ran for governor in my home state.
It is not that I don’t want to know about these important issues, but I am afraid to ask. I am afraid that people will think I am less intelligent because I don’t know what GOP stands for. It’s easier for me to read a Buzzfeed chart, to laugh and feel connected with my generation, and move on with my day. I am satisfied in my ignorance.
If someone posts a link that shows up on my Facebook feed, I’m not likely to click it unless it explicitly addresses people in their twenties, or it involves a numbered list that will offer me 12 reasons to procrastinate right now (and I rarely click on lists that are longer than twenty items). When reading articles online, I value simplicity and entertainment over thought-provocation. I choose to be amused for a couple minutes at a time rather than challenged.
Why? Why is this how I choose to relax and connect to the world—through GIF articles and Miley Cyrus bashing? Why am I satisfied with ignorance? Why do I feel comfortable in this connectivity? I claim openly that I do not watch television shows, but surfing the Internet and breezing through a Facebook Newsfeed five times a day is equally as troublesome. What am I letting my brain give power to, and why?
I know I am not the only one who feels this way. I am sure there are a great number of Millennial (as my generation and subsequent generation is now being deemed) who seek entertainment over enlightenment. I’m sure that, like me, they rarely question why.
Sometimes, I feel that it is a very powerful thing to be as connected to the world as I am. Sharing ideas via Internet and smartphone—over Twitter and Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr, Pinterest and Snapchats—holds an incredible amount of potential. There are a million ways that a good idea can be spread. The notion is exhilarating.
What scares me though are the ideas that are actually being spread. Ideas like what slut-shaming means, and just how many objects Miley Cyrus has violated.