Consume news beyond what you like to hear

Jeffrey BW

It’s a tumultuous time in news media. Everything feels so polarized, commercialized and sensationalized. Turning on any of the major news networks at any hour of the day just gets obnoxious and flat-out frustrating.

Those who watch MSNBC have a bone to pick with FOX News and vice versa, and understandably so. These networks have been tailored for specific audiences, minds and, ultimately, specific ideologies. Of course it’s going to get aggravating. I understand that.

What I don’t understand is why many of my peers shut themselves out from any involvement whatsoever in the national topics that are immensely relevant to the future of this country. It has become a battle of red versus blue, over and over again with nothing getting done. This is a problem.

Last year was smothered with controversy and conflict. Naturally, you have social warriors coming to the forefront. Those words sound good and who could disagreement with valuing people as people? Consequently, this country has its fair share of people that jump several bandwagons without their own opinion formed.

We’ve gotten to a point where any comment in any political discussion gets pigeonholed to one of two very polarized sides, and we get nowhere near a solution, let alone a compromise. People would rather not participate at all and are discouraged to talk about these things with their friends. Those people need to wise up and wise up fast.

My advice to you in this time is that you take in news with an open mind. Try to hold back your knee-jerk reactions to things that get you frustrated and think about the issue logically. Point and counterpoint. Think about these things for yourself.

One practical way to refresh your mind: stop listening to same voice(s) you always listen to for commentary on these issues. Whether that’s your own voice or a public figure, simply stop and see how it compares to perspectives.

I’ll close with a Bible verse: “Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 NIV)

Refreshment starts with a change of mind. God’s will does not come from your favorite newscaster or politician. Getting all the same input you’ve already been using isn’t going to get any different output than you were already getting.

Jeffrey Swindoll is a junior journalism and film and digital media double major from Miami. He is a sports writer and regular columnist for the Lariat.