Ignorance isn’t innocence

It was a Saturday afternoon and I was trying to talk to my friend about the news I saw that morning.

The whole time she would say things like “You can’t trust that,” “How do you know this?” “Why does it matter?” or completely ignore the important facts of the story.

We have a very sarcastic friendship so I thought she was just joking around, until I asked her “Do you even pay attention to the news?”

“No, I hate the news.”

I thought my heart had stopped. I couldn’t believe my friend openly admitted she hates learning about what is happening around the world because she “prefers to stay innocent.”

It isn’t innocence though, it’s ignorance.

I do not watch the news everyday.

I admit it’s hard to find time to sit down and catch up, but social media is at our fingertips now. You can go on Facebook and see major news headlines from anywhere in the world. Twitter and Snapchat both provide immediate platforms for news.

I asked her “Do you follow any news organizations?”

She quickly replied “No, I don’t like it on my newsfeed.”

I’ll admit I was questioning our friendship at that point, but she isn’t the only one who is guilty for doing this.

How can you have an opinion if you don’t have the slightest clue about what is happening?

My friend told me that day, the only reason I care so much about the news is because I’m a journalism major.

But that’s not the only reason.

There are so many things happening in our world right now; the presidential election, war, discrimination and controversial topics. All of which you can’t have an educated opinion on if you aren’t informed.

I’m not saying you should watch five different news channels, follow every news organization and read five newspapers a day. But please stay informed and stay educated.

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching a video where people would quiz others on information I assumed people should know. They asked who the secretary of state is, what the House of Representatives is and the roles of the president.

There were blank faces.

They then asked who the vice president is and very few could answer.

These answers are plastered on TV, social media, sometimes as soon as I open Twitter I see a post from CNN about where Obama visited that weekend. It’s staring at us, but we still turn a blind eye.

Philosopher Wayne Dyer once said, “The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate.”

Change it.