You’re the political junkie.
You’re getting educated in a big fancy college.
You idolize Trevor Noah.
You rub elbows with future lawyers, lobbyists and politicians.
You study the issues and think that you know more about politics than the average person- especially those that aren’t in school.
After all, you are spending a lot of time and money to expand your mind and find the “truth” behind what’s happening.
At least that is what you think.
So when you get on Facebook to express some of the recycled political ideas that you just learned, you see your high school friend from way back post, ‘Make America Great Again’.
It’s a trigger and you can’t help yourself.
An argument ensues between the two of you.
In your mind, you are going to school this guy.
He isn’t in college after all.
He doesn’t always use the right terms or have perfectly constructed arguments.
You should be able to wipe the floor with him and move on.
But the conversation doesn’t go the way you thought.
It becomes an actual debate.
This debate takes your blood from slightly warm to completely boiling.
How dare He?
You’re the second year political science major that sits down and dutifully learns at the foot of politically connected professors.
But your high school buddy on the other hand who got that landscaping job he was always talking about instead of spending thousands of dollars in housing, student loans and ‘sustainability’ fees doesn’t know anything about politics.
And as a result, you don’t really believe that his voice matters.
He shouldn’t be talking about politics because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about you surmise.
As a college student I’ve heard the claim.
We like to take the stance that these people back home who opted to stay away from tuition costs and auxiliary fees are significantly less informed than us on pretty much everything because we are en route to a college degree.
This is nowhere near the case.
In the era of alternative facts and fake news, the concept of being politically informed is one that we have to throw around very loosely.
You need to take a real look at yourself and make the assessment of what do you actually know about politics.
This assessment doesn’t come from knowing random facts.
It’s more of an overall assessment of your political footprint.
Where do you get your facts?
How did you get there?
How broad is your view?
How reliable is your source?
The nature of media bias is everywhere.
it still to this day saturates programs like the Late Show or Trevor Noah’s Daily Show.
Sources like these end up being some people’s only source of understanding politics and because of that they fail to get an unbiased opinion about the political world.
The reality isn’t better for 24 hour news channels either; stations like Fox News and MSNBC also provide underlying bias that people are exposed to as well.
The practice of media bias is so bad that people are arguing over which source (out of these specific two in fact) is the most bias.
To be the ‘politically informed citizen’ that us college students boast about being you need to take the time to look at all sources available.
Rather than this, we have an established culture that encourages us to look solely at the media that is favorable to us as individuals.
In the end, you should not look down at your high school buddy who wants to talk politics.
He may not always be right or say the right things.
Maybe he is more likely to buy into fake news, maybe not.
But he is still an American and he is entitled to as much of a voice as you are.
And who knows, maybe your political opinion is just as one sided, underdeveloped and wrong as his is.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Infrogmation of New Orleans/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)