Opinion

Ignorance no longer an option

This week, The Miami Hurricane hired a social media editor to oversee its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Recently, Ibis Yearbook, Distraction Magazine and UMTV did the same.

Social media is integrated into all aspects of our daily lives. It’s not just a college student obsession – it’s a bandwagon that’s attracted businesses, news outlets and presidential candidates. Getting sucked into the online world is inevitable.

On Aug. 29, President Barack Obama went live on reddit.com, a social news media website founded in 2005 that allows users to submit their own content or links on topics they find interesting. Obama allowed Reddit users to ask him anything for 30 minutes, and he received more than 20,000 questions.

Although Reddit had already entered the social media sphere in 2008, it wasn’t a primary means of political rhetoric. Social media was trending, but it was not a vital means of communication. Now, it is.

Reddit is not the only social media outlet harnessed by presidential candidates. Both Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have Twitter and Facebook accounts, and use them to gear messages toward the younger generation.

In today’s technology-saturated world, students don’t have an excuse to be uninformed. With everything readily available at your fingertips, not knowing is not possible.

Social media has allowed college students to stay informed about local and national news, without turning on a television or reading a newspaper (not that we discourage the latter).

While social media outlets are tactful and trendy, be cautious when utilizing these tools. Don’t be so quick to believe everything you read, because the demand for instantaneous information creates room for error.

Think back to January, when CBS cited an incorrect report on Twitter that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno had died. Although a credible news source, CBS made a mistake that can never be erased.

Lesson to be learned: Check your sources. And for the record, think for yourselves.

 

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.


September 5, 2012

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.