If I say I’m lit I mean that I am literally literate in literature. My opinions don’t come from social media or watching the news. You can’t open a newspaper (no one does this) and read my opinions. They aren’t riding on the coattails of anyone else’s thoughts. My opinions are developed, cultivated, and honed through reading, writing, and discussion. Reading and writing, those stupid things we did in grade school that our ancestors may never have had the capability and privilege of doing.
When you’re disagreeing about fake news or dissing, disbelieving, and discusing the disgusting disruptive dissolution of media there’s a simple question you can ask yourself. Why do all of these words start with d-i-s? You can also ask yourself why am I not reading a book right now instead? Are you staying informed or merely squandering more time by not spending it on yourself? Does the news make you happier? Why are you watching it, reading it, injecting it directly into the hole where your thoughts should be?
The News is gossip repackaged to appeal to a broad audience. Let me rephrase and reiterate that for those of you who just pictured a crowd of women when you read ‘broad audience’. The News is manufactured specifically to gain viewership for advertising. The goal is not to inform you, but to get large numbers of people to watch. Hence the phrase “if it bleeds it leads”. Are you are trying to improve your life? You shouldn’t be waiting for the ‘information’ that is designed to grab your attention. You should be seeking the knowledge that has always intrigued you and held your attention.
Knowledge is in books, people have known that for centuries. Of course I’m not saying that every book is worth reading or that every book has quality information. But just developing the skill of reading will help you distinguish between what is valid and what is make believe. Life Hack: they often group them into fiction and non-fiction, you want the latter.
The consumption of news is generally not relevant to your life. If you don’t watch the news today, will the world end? Will you cease to be without having stories that don’t involve you, in places you don’t go, about people you’ve never met, thrown at your retinas repeatedly? Can you survive without being bombarded by advertisements for things you’ll never need?
Yes, the existence of the press is important unless you live in North Korea. Yes, the media does serve a purpose. But does it serve you? Are YOU gaining anything? Aside from reaffirming the way you already think, what benefit are you getting? Affirmation isn’t even beneficial in this instance. You must be challenged if you want to learn. If you can only handle information that you agree with, then go home you’re drunk.
Most news is now opinions masquerading as facts. Only one undeniable fact remains, you must educate yourself on your own terms to read between the lines. If you have Fox News on while you read The New York Times you may as well be banging your head against a wall. But if you only do one or the other you will be biased to the point of no longer being able to comprehend facts-or worse, open to alternative facts. Quite a conundrum. The solution is raising the bar, a higher education.
Higher education like anything else is what you make it. Who has a better understanding of the world, the twenty-five year old that went to business school or the ‘uneducated’ self-made fifty-five year old who has read hundreds of books on a wide array of topics? The answer is a matter of opinion but that in itself proves that education doesn’t determine intelligence. What you fill your mind with will determine how much you know.
Spend less time absorbing the opinions of others and more time forging your own. If you absolutely must ‘stay informed’, #staywoke, whatever you want to call it, then read it as opposed to watching it. Look at opposing viewpoints and topics you know nothing about. And for the love of intelligent life, please pick up a book before we create a generation that can only communicate via emojis.