Mary Margaret’s Musings on priorities

One moment you are focused on studying and the next you can’t get the thought of checking your favorite website out of your head.

Chances are that favorite website is not a news website focused on world affairs.

Priorities can be difficult to sort out, and the importance of being well informed on serious news often take the back seat to social media and “fun” distractions.

Procrastination is a weakness of mine. Sitting and staring at the work is easier to do then starting to work. In the mean time, getting distracted by anything and everything is extremely easy.

World news, elections and serious events fall into this trap too. Often the soft celebrity news is easier to digest then the harsh reality happening in the world around us.

Just a few weeks after Russia hosted the Olympics; they invaded Ukraine. There was less coverage on the latter than the former. Why?

After the Olympics, attention was turned to the Oscars and fluffy, insignificant news rather than the potential for worldwide consequences. A quick look at the online news sites revealed three soft articles for every Ukraine news update.

The same public ignorance occurred when the issues surrounding the Syrian civil war was in the news a few months ago. The ignorance lead to misinformation and biased opinions being presented as facts on popular social media such as Facebook.

There is such a thing as fear mongering. An over-saturation of bad news can bring accusations of fear mongering and perhaps people are trying to avoid that.

The events are not taking place on our soil and don’t directly affect us. Why should we worry? But a little human decency goes a long way.

Knowing what is going on in other places of the world makes us better prepared to face issues at home.

There is a time and a place for soft, fun news. The Oscars are an important event in the film industry. Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years a Slave, and she looked beautiful in her gauzy, powder blue dress. Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t win an Oscar, again. Ellen Degeneres bought pizza and took selfies.

However, willful ignorance of serious news should be avoided. I’m not doing myself any favors by avoiding the less-than-positive news, even if it makes me uncomfortable.

I work in it in to my routine in little bits, checking the news blurbs on my email homepage, looking at what is trending now and reading the old-fashioned newspaper as I eat breakfast. The news on television is another alternative for getting a daily dose of important information.
Knowing the score to last night’s game, who got booted from American Idol and which cats are currently being worshiped by the Internet is great, but being well informed on current events has its advantages too.

Interesting conversations can be had, opinions shared and intelligence spread. Looking smarter is a win all around.

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