How Social Media is Reshaping News

The way we receive our daily news today is extremely different than the way we received it just a decade ago. Social media is the fastest growing delivery service of our local, national and world news and can be received in mere seconds. As receivers to such news we must do our own homework to make certain the overload of news we are receiving is truthful and the sources are reputable. At any given time of the day you can log into your social media account and find many of your friends have shared news feeds which can be intriguing to you. You may find yourself clicking on their shared stories to find out more. This is exactly what is happening today.

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, findings show of the 64% of all US adults that have a Facebook account nearly half are getting their daily news from the social media site. Although social media is not the top source of news for Americans, it is growing fast and Facebook is leading the way with YouTube and Twitter not far behind.2_Social-media-as-a-pathway-to-news

Personally I use my Facebook page to post events that I am hosting or involved with but I do occasionally find myself clicking on shared news stories from the site. I believe those who share stories want to be the first one to release it to their friends or maybe they found the story personally interesting or disturbing. The Pew Research Center’s findings also indicated that of the social media news sharers, nearly 50% shared or reposted news stories, images or videos on their news feeds and of those that news 73% of the news on Facebook is of entertainment with community news close behind.

The findings I most connected with the study are how US adults discuss news events on social media. The study gave an example of if the topic of the government surveillance programs came up in several different settings, such as at the dinner table, out with friends at a restaurant, at work, and asked how willing would you be to join in the conversation in person verses sharing thoughts on social media sites. The results shown below did not surprise me as I do not share my true feelings of highly controversial topics online even though I may have a strong moral viewpoint. I steer clear of these topics online because there is no clear way to know how your audience will perceive your message which can upset others and cloud their view of message or judge you in a manner you did not intend.

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Technology is forever evolving and while social media allows us to access news at our fingertips at any given time of the day the information can be untrue, misguided or taken out of context at times as well. So my advice to you is to be wary of what articles and information you share and do more research on the articles you are viewing as sometimes such information is just too good to be true.

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