By Carly Berndt, For The Miami Student
The concept of current events is one that, at least for me, was introduced at the ripe age of seven or eight. I remember having to ask my mother to scour the Internet and the Columbus Dispatch to find three “current events” I could proudly present to a room full of other uninterested, slightly smelly elementary school kids.
As time has passed, I have managed to step up my game from asking my mother to complete my assignments for me at the last minute, to usually not completing them at all.
Occasionally, on days when the stars align and Kylie Jenner has recently gotten fresh lip injections, I am able to half-ass my own homework.
If you were to look back on your life as a student — unless the American education system completely failed you — you will see that keeping up with current events is a fairly common theme in teaching, especially among the younger years when the desire to keep up with the New Hampshire primary or the crisis in the Middle East may not be as burning.
Though I am not an educator in the American school system (or any school system, for that matter), I can imagine that the point behind making children demolish a newspaper for clippings is in an effort to teach them the importance of both being informed about the world around you and learning how to correctly operate a pair of scissors.
Fast-forward to the present — sharp mind, refined scissor skills, truly the whole package.
Current events are still an important aspect in everyday society, except for the fact that one very important, founding component to current events has drastically changed. The content of readily available information has changed, and it is not for the better.
Take the reference I made to Kylie Jenner and her inflatable face caterpillars earlier — as hilarious as those caterpillars are, I chose that example because I would be willing to bet all $47.84 in my wallet that everyone reading this knows who and what I am referring to.
Though not a stellar example of a news outlet (namely because it is not a news outlet unless you’re someone’s weirdly superstitious and conservative uncle), look at Facebook’s “Trending” feature. Unless some sort of massive world tragedy or triumph occurs, the only real “news” that users are confronted with center around a picture of a celebrity or new Netflix releases.
Even news sources, whose job is to report on the news, struggle to actually report on matters that are both newsworthy and educational. Aside from the humor found in that paradox, this points to a much bigger cultural issue in our society — people don’t want to learn like they used to.
I’m not trying to say the fact that Justin Bieber is going to be on the front of GQ or the fact that the Malaysian Airline incident is still somehow relevant isn’t important from a cultural standpoint, or that pop culture issues are not important to learn about, but it goes back to the concept of supply and demand — if people really cared about what was going on in the world, the first thing on my “trending” feed wouldn’t be about Dairy Queen.