It’s likely that you are closely following news about the rescue of the Thai soccer team stuck in a cave. The crisis is so dangerous and so close to everyone’s hearts that the entire world is watching to see what will happen next. And when it comes to Americans, they are more than likely watching for updates about this rescue on social media channels.
Whether it be reading posts on the Thai Navy Seal Facebook page, scanning President Trump’s Twitter feed for tweets about the cave crisis, or searching for Instagram videos recorded at the scene of the rescue, more and more adults in the U.S. are using social networks to get their dose of news. According to a Pew Research Center report, almost half of American adults use Facebook for news. What’s more, half of Facebook’s news users get their news from that site alone.
There are clear benefits to using social media sites for news. Channels like Twitter provide quick, concise updates. Instagram offers visual material like photos or videos. Most social media networks can be searched for news via hashtags or simple searches. And, because we already spend so much time on social media that it becomes a very convenient place to discover news.
But is this really healthy? Let’s not forget that social media sites are not news sites. They are designed entirely to entertain, not inform.
Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Whatsapp, and more make news accessible to users, but they also make fake news accessible to users. False articles, lying ads, and misleading pages trick unquestioning users into believing wrong information. Social media companies historically do not hold a responsibility to vet the accuracy of content that is shared across their platforms. But, with the scandals that erupted out of the 2016 U.S. election, this lack of responsibility is now held up for debate.
To avoid falling into fake news traps on social media, the safest rule to follow is to get your news from reputable news sources. Try out your knack for distinguishing between fact and opinion by taking this Pew Research Center quiz.
And, don’t forget to use Go2s to organize group events or fundraisers in response to the news you read. Hop onto Go2s groups and get friends and family together for a bake sale to raise money to help the rescue efforts for the Thai soccer team. Or, gather your local political allies for a rally event during your next local election. Go2s is the online place where you don’t just read about life – you live it. Log on today and start something meaningful.