Current Conversations: People need to be informed

Katie BrownBy Katie BrownTongues around the nation are wagging in reference to the U.S. government’s shutdown. Democrats and Republicans are at each other’s throats, both sides blaming the other for the shutdown and the problems preceeding it.

Terms such as “Affordable Care Act,” “federal debt ceiling” and “long term budget deal” are being thrown around, but the question as to what these phrases really mean remains unanswered.

It seems that most Americans quickly develop opinions on national issues like the government shutdown and each person fights to voice his or her own opinion.

The government shutdown is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed, but Americans need to become well-informed on the issue at hand before bashing the other side or even offering their own opinion. Both biased media and social media are hindrances in informing Americans of the true reasoning behind the government shutdown.

Most news outlets offer biased information on all issues, especially those regarding the government. Trying to find an unbiased position on the government shutdown definitely proves to be a challenge, however it is a necessary step to take before developing opinions on the matter. Hearing all sides of the story not only better informs one in choosing a side, but also helps Americans to better understand the opposing side and provide better informed arguments.

Social media has also escalated, confused, pushed and stoked the debate regarding the government shutdown. Uninformed critics listen to biased media or friends, form opinions based on these “facts” and post infuriated messages on Facebook and Twitter, evoking uproars from friends and family.

In addition, other individuals wishing to understand the reason- ing behind the government shutdown read these posts, develop their own opinions and write their own posts.

The vicious cycle continues until the truth becomes so utterly diluted that no one comes close to true understanding.

Character limits cause problems, too. No one can explain the reasoning behind the government shutdown in 140 characters on Twitter. In this regard, social me- dia has hindered Americans’ understanding of national issues.

Developing opinions on nationwide problems such as the shutdown of the U.S. government is vital to those living in the American republic. Individuals must become well-informed by listening to all sides of an issue and take caution regarding social media.