With today's ease of social media our democracy is turning into more of a "mediaocracy," constantly influence by what we see on Twitter and Facebook. In fact, 60 percent of Americans get their news from social media according to the Pew Research Center. Here's why that isn't the best thing.
Social media is programmed to show you more of what you like, based on the content you produce, pages you follow, and content you've previously liked. Because of this, users become surrounded by their own opinions. This causes people to become more grounded in their views without hearing or even acknowledging the opposing side, a concept called "incestuous amplification"or "groupthink," which leads to a spiral of silence.
Groupthink occurs when an opinion is stated verbally or nonverbally and those that agree will back up the opinion to the point where those in the group with opposing opinions are made to think they are the only one who feels this way about an issue. This thought minority then tends to keep their opinions to themselves in the situation not wanting to rock the boat or confirm that no one else shares their opinion, resulting in a spiral of silence. This concept is particularly relevant on social media, according to The Pew Research Center.
Like many things, social media is both good and bad. On one hand, the news is now more accessible and users are able to have conversations with other users from around the world. On the other hand, it isn't always the best source of news. Articles and videos on social media are blatantly biased and often use skewed evidence. Newspapers and television news stations are also guilty of producing biased content with a designated political spin on each of the stories they report.
Check out Business Insider's finding about various news outlets and where they stand politically.
Republican: TheBlaze, Glenn Beck Program, Drudge Report
Democratic The New York Times, Washington Post, Slate
Republican: Fox, Sean Hannity Show, Rush Limbaugh Show
Democratic: CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC
In order to get the most out of today's news Juana Summers, an editor of CNN Politics suggests reading one article or watching a news station that opposes your opinion a week in order to piece together the full story. Stop the mediocracy; challenge your opinion and the opinions of those around you.
The above video is part of We the Voters, a groundbreaking social impact campaign designed to inspire and activate millions of young Americans through 20 viral films hosted by actors and influencers. The project incorporates real characters, dynamic story lines and celebrity influencers to demystify how the government and elections work and motivate Americans to seize their power by voting in the 2016 elections. For more information, and to see the rest of the films, visit We the Voters.com.