Media Literacy & Consequences
Media literacy, in my opinion, is one of the most important trays that a communicator can have these days. Why do I say this? Because we as professionals have a really big responsibility: spread information as accurately as posible. Some of us can have huge followings so is really important that we make sure that whenever we are sharing and article, photo, or video about an event, our sources from which we are finding our information are legitimate. At the same time, it is our responsibility to correct those that may be using incorrect sources or sharing false information. It is imprescindible to double check everything before we send it to our family, friends and followers.
The way I do this is really simple: before sharing an article, I make sure that the source or website are legit. Look for verified badges on their social media profiles, also make sure that they have a website (most of the legit sources of information do). The trending or discover area on social media will also help to identify if something it’s actually happening. There are dedicated websites to fact check rumors or news like: factcheck.org, snopes.com, amongst others.
On an era that we are drowning with the over-sharing of information, it is important that we learn to filter what’s really going on in the world from the “news” created to distract. This is also known as “Media Manipulation”. We see it with the current President of the United States calls “Fake News” every time that a news outlet shares an article that may affect his image.
Effects on our Society
When this type of occurences happens, the public gets confused and mad; leaving a feeling of not knowing what to believe. This can cause a bigger problem, they will try to get away as far as possible from news outlets and therefore, they get isolated from the real world. This is what is actually going on with the younger audience, where mental health issues continue to skyrocket in teenagers.
Sadly, the excess of information and bad news that we have are shaping a society that has become quite insensible to what’s really going on in the world. For example: we have been at war for so long that some people forgot the horrible consequences that it brings. The same thing happens with situations that affect us as a society on a daily basis (i.e: school shootings, gender violence, racism, police brutality, criminality, etc.). Any of the before mentioned issues are not normal thing, but we see it so often on the media that sometimes, people forget or just ignore what’s happening and don’t act or speak up about it.
On this animation by Steve Cuts, it shows our current problems in our society, mostly caused by the excessive use of digital media. This illustration sequence was part of a music video for Moby, an electronic artist from the United States.
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