I’m becoming increasingly aware of what is shared and ‘liked’ on my social media and it has made me question the system. What makes it to the top of our news feeds and how? What do we think of when we think of news?
When it comes to sharing news articles does this sound familiar to you? “OMG this is the WORST thing ever I CANNOT believe this is happening, what kind of sick world do we live in?!” or “This article is actually terrible!!!” or “I’m so sick of this stuff being posted like it’s actual news, we don’t care!” followed by a link. Which we then click.
Here’s the thing, once we click the link it sends a message to our social media algorithm; we want to see more. There is no way for them to determine whether you clicked the article because you liked it or because you were disgusted by it, they’re only interested in whether you visit the link or not. It’s quite literally a popularity contest. I hear so many complaints about the titles and content of some articles especially when it comes to celebrities. For example creating a story purely around what a woman was wearing.
I write a weekly blog about issues concerning the emotional wellbeing of teenage girls and beyond, so it’s concerning that from a young age girls could be visiting online ‘newspapers’ and be looking at this sort of content as genuine news.
Who can we realistically blame for articles of this nature? Ourselves, that’s who. We allow others to lure us into reading crap we don’t actually want to read because of an accompanying status that tells us it’s so outrageous we can’t miss out. There are so many writers and journalists concentrating on real news aimed to inform us or to spread a little positivity around. Yet a woman from TOWIE narrowly missing a puddle on her way for her spray tan is what hits headlines and infiltrates our social media.
Remember, we have the power to change our own news feeds by only clicking on articles with the kind of content we actually would like to see more of. So please, be careful what you click for!