Hanna Harangues: Ignorance isn’t bliss

Hanna Kang, Opinion Editor

The beheading of Coptic Christians by ISIS, Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, rising bids for the 2016 presidency, the Iran nuclear deal… do any of these topics strike a note? For your average high school student, probably not. Young American ignorance, an omnipresent issue, has been escalating to alarming heights, and it must be stopped.

Nowadays, so much of what the younger generation calls “news” is filtered through various social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Remember the viral dress phenomenon that spread through social media like wildfire? Literally everyone I encountered in the days after the posting had something to say about the dress. What about Sen. Rand Paul’s bid for the presidency? Few people even showed a vague recognition of the topic, let alone identify the guy.

Sadly, this lack of front-page knowledge has garnered the younger generation the reputation of being detached and unaware. This shouldn’t be the case. We have loads of information right at our fingertips, yet too many of us opt for indifference, allowing ourselves captive to the belief that current events don’t affect us, and vice versa—a huge fallacy.

In fact, the choices we make today will shape our tomorrow, so it’s crucial for young adults to be actively engaged in important issues and aware of the world we live in. Partaking does not come without active participation; only by having the drive to educate ourselves are we able to critically evaluate the world and be an influence in policy making.

We are the future of America; developing opinions and generating feedback on hot, important issues will foster us into informed citizens and lifelong newsreaders. It will provide a stimulus for those of us who do not already keep tabs on current events to pay deeper attention to the things happening in the classroom, school and community.

When I was a little girl—newspaper in one hand and dictionary in the other—I had no idea how helpful my appetite for pursuing and conversing about global issues was going to be later on. It certainly carried me a long way: SAT and AP prompts were finished with ease and 10 minutes to spare, class debates were enjoyable, and I was able to build on my self-confidence. But most importantly, my interests and knowledge weren’t limited to AP Calculus and Crash Course U.S. History.
It really isn’t a good feeling to be in the dark. Be in the know, or else you will never realize the excitement of engaging in heated (but healthy) conversations with others in the loop. The ball is in your court, beat the label and pick up a copy of the New York Times. Heck, come join journalism.