As we move deeper and deeper into the digital age, the lines between mainstream media and news are becoming increasingly blurred. Now more than ever, young adults are given incredible access to information about current events.
Interested in seeing how young adults engage with news and media, I took to the streets to gather information.
“I would say if it takes more than 280 characters to explain it, it’s probably not that important,” one sophomore reasoned.
“I consider myself to be pretty well informed,” a freshman claimed. “Every morning, I start my day by reading the most recent posts on Yik Yak, then I scroll on TikTok. Sometimes I watch the first 30 seconds of The Washington Post’s videos.”
“GlueSniffer3000 on r/newstoday wrote this post explaining why President Biden is actually an alien based on his Chinese takeout order. It got like 20 awards and a bunch of upvotes, so I think it’s fair to say they’re pretty reliable,” an avid Reddit user shared.
These answers, although not surprising, prompted me to ask one student about how they used their feed to help them come to their own conclusions. Expecting them to tell me about all the ways they fact check what they hear by seeking out other news platforms or, at the very least, venturing further than their uncle's Facebook page, I was instead answered with a long pause.
“At this point, I’m not sure if any of my opinions are my actual thoughts or something I read somewhere,” they finally said, but they did assure me that they’ve truly never felt more informed about events going on in the world.
However, after asking about their thoughts on Putin and the events happening between Ukraine and Russia, I was met only with a quizzical stare — “What’s a Putin?”