(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

By JADE GONZALEZ, Staff Writer

Hurricane Sandy, the presidential campaign, bombings in Syria — these are just a few things that have taken place in 2012. But it’s how we keep up with all the news that is key.

The use of social media has skyrocketed within the past years. It started out with blog sites like MySpace and Xanga that just voiced the opinions of people but now the social media world has morphed into so much more. With the newer social sites such as Facebook and Twitter, people literally have the news of the world at their fingertips.

Today, almost everyone we know has a cell phone that has some type of internet connection. In the United States alone, smartphone ownership reached 110 million users by May 2012 according to a survey taken by ComScore Data Mine. With this widespread of smartphones, people are being updated every second with what’s going on worldwide with a device that can fit in their pocket.

“Social media has revolutionized the way people, especially young adults, get news on current events. They don’t have to just watch the news anymore, they can just log on to Facebook or Twitter,” said Shelby Zuk, a student at the University of Michigan – Dearborn.

Technology really has enhanced the way we as young adults, read and receive our news. Thanks to Twitter, we are able to get direct thoughts and quotes right from the source itself. Most news stations have even made their own social networking pages, so they can join the new generation. This is a very smart move for both news stations and newspapers since Facebook alone has about 1.2 billion users; a much larger number than the people still buying actual hard copy newspapers. During the presidential campaign, getting feedback via Twitter from CNN, NY Times, and even the candidates campaign teams was quite popular and had a large influence.

It’s not just young adults that are using social networks for their news. The generation gap that was once apparent in social networking sites is rapidly closing.

“I check my NY Times app every day,” said George Gonzalez, 58. “It’s so much easier than sitting and watching television and waiting for the stories that I want to hear. I can just scroll through my phone when I’m bored and get all my news.”

Because getting the most up-to-date news has become so simple, there is no excuse to not know what’s going on in the world around us. You can scroll through the internet, you don’t need to watch the news at 5:00, and you can watch live stream of current events taking place anywhere in the world. Knowing your news is necessity, and thanks to technology, it has become as easy as texting your friend, which I know you all have time for.

So instead of just scrolling your Facebook or Twitter feed for the “latest gossip,” take the time and follow CNN or follow your local news network. Show the older generations that are still weary about social networking sites that these sites can be used for more than just posting pictures of you and your friends last Saturday night. Social networking can be used to expand knowledge on important subject matter, not just that Nick and Ashley broke up last Tuesday.

  • Ben Linus

    News is a waste of time. I can guarantee you that every bit of news you read this week will be forgotten this time, next month. The really big news, if it is important enough, will make its way to people even if they don’t waste their time reading the “news.”

    • I don’t see how someone can think that all the things happening around us on a daily basis can be a “waste of time.” Just waiting for someone to tell you what happens in the world sounds like pure laziness. But hey, if you don’t want to be well informed, be my guest.

      • Ben Linus

        You will forget most of everything read on news sites within a month, even a week. I can see how you would think it would not be a waste of time. My mistake.