Two weeks ago, I introduced Generation Z, explaining what defines the youngest generation. I determined that those of us in Gen Z, we Boomlets, are in fact not addicted to our phones. This week, I will talk about the ways we get our news.
It is a strong belief among older generations that the Boomlets are uneducated on current events. However, most of my friends and most Boomlets in general have a decent grasp of the goings-on in the world, but their knowledge– as well as my own– usually only skims the surface.
The reason for this stems from where we get our news. We consume news differently from the ways our parents and grandparents do. The former tend to watch CNN and read Yahoo News, while the latter gravitate toward Fox News and The New York Times.
We have three ways that we access news on current events. For the first, I will use myself as an example. I am a busy person, at least by my standards, and I don’t want to spend upwards of an hour every day staying educated on current events. So I have the CNN and LA Times smartphone apps, and I read the one- to two-sentence story summaries that pop up on my home screen.
Yes, I know. Those sentences are often barely enough information, but this way, I know the bare minimum to get me by in adult conversations about health care, Syria and President Trump’s tweets.
The second way we consume news involves social media. I have a close friend who uses her Instagram to follow Bernie Sanders and other politicians to stay informed about politics. I have other friends who use Twitter to follow news feeds such as those of MSNBC and Al Jazeera America to stay up to date. (Generally speaking, most Boomlets prefer left-leaning news, as the majority are liberal.)
The third way we keep informed is through our parents (and sometimes friends). I often listen to my parents discuss the news in order to find out what is going on in the world.
Unfortunately, this source is frequently biased because our parents have already digested the story and formulated an opinion, which will inevitably skew their telling of said story.
The reason we prefer to consume news in these ways stems from our general aversion to reading.
Obviously, this is not true for everyone– I personally love reading and would happily spend my life with a book in one hand, a coffee cup in the other and a cat on my lap– but many Boomlets avoid reading like the plague.
In my English class this year, so many students refused to read the assigned books that my teacher gave up and cut out the classic must-reads Lord of the Flies, As I Lay Dying and The Importance of Being Earnest. While a few students and I viewed this decision as a tragedy, the celebrations from the vast majority prove how much Boomlets despise reading.
I honestly don’t know why my generation as a whole hates reading, but despite the reason, this hatred has led to new methods of news consumption that are more efficient, although with less depth.