It’s important for every young professional (YP) to have a cause, to build a point of view, and to opine on issues that matter to us. And in this age of information saturation, we have never had more resources available to help us form opinions and build those arguments. That said, there has also never been an age of more available bullshit. It’s up to us to ensure that we maintain both a broad perspective as well as a cynical eye as we take to our numerous live and online platforms to shout our views to the world. Do you think you know all the sides to the story and have a holistic understanding of your chosen cause? Or do you live with blinders on, content to only see what fits within your POV? We’re all guilty of hearing only what we want to hear at times, but you may be selectively informed if any of these 9 points describe you…
1. You rarely click a headline that goes against your view or offers another. Forget exploring other options. You know what you know and you don’t need to know any more.
2. You immediately believe and share any and all posts that agree with your opinions (without even fully reading them): The pic, the intro, the main idea – it’s all there and it will totally convince all your friends and followers how right you’ve been all along. Click, share!
3. You get Facebook likes and Twitter RTs on your daily posts … from the same four people every time: At least they get it!
4. Your go-to news and info sources are never ever, ever discussed in popular media: So what if your fave site disses the status quo, is run by a single guy in his parents’ basement, and includes the word “truth” written in bold 26 times per article?
5. Your go-to news and info sources are only popular media: If it’s on (American) TV, it’s got to be 100% trustworthy.
6. You have no go-to new and info sources: The water cooler at work, Facebook friends, your mom… yeah, you’ve got all the info you need.
7. You’ve never sought out any scientific research, professional opinions, or personal experience: Screw the pros, you know what’s up! And what’s this “cross referencing”?
8. You’ve never visited BS-blasting sites like Snopes.com or Hoax-slayer.com: Who?
9. You can’t handle the truth: Even if others try to tell you otherwise, show you opposing evidence, or offer their own personal experiences, there’s just no way you’ll ever change your mind.
While sticking to our guns about causes and beliefs that matter to us is certainly essential for today’s YPs, being selectively informed can be not only detrimental to ourselves, but also to others through the spread of potentially phoney info. It’s also embarrassing when confronted by those who’ve actually vested time towards particular issues. So go ahead and educate yourself, stay open to alternative possibilities, and explore the other side – if only to strengthen your own.