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McWilliams: America values pop-culture over important news

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board. 

The rumors of Kylie’s pregnancy went viral a day before North Korea responded to Trump’s tweet and threatened to declare war on the US. According to Google’s trending analytics, the news about Kylie Jenner was trending higher than the news about North Korea, and still is. The rumors about Kylie were also trending higher than Hurricane Maria, which has devastated Puerto Rico. 

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People all across America were reading and posting about the rumors of Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy this past week. So far, none of the other family members have confirmed or denied the rumor.

None of that is actually important.

As a society, America seems to have a skewed idea of what we value as important to our society. We would rather pay attention to pop culture and political arguments rather than the things that actually effect us and those around the world. College students and young people are obvious targets of this type of ignorance, because we are submerged in all types of social media. 

President Donald Trump recently tweeted about NFL Players protesting against the National Anthem while a hurricane hit Puerto Rico. As of now, the NFL is trending significantly higher in the US than Hurricane Maria. Puerto Rico is an American territory, and we should be focusing on disaster relief. Instead, we are more focused whether or not people are kneeling during our national anthem. Though it is an important issue, right now we should be focusing on the thousands of lives that are being affected in Puerto Rico.

American citizens should not be focused more on pop culture than the things that are affecting our lives. Pop culture is meant to entertain, not to become a higher priority than a potential war or the thousands of people that are suffering in our territory.

It is not necessarily our fault that we fall into this pop culture trap. When things are trending, it becomes close to impossible for anything else to show up on social media. As consumers, we need to become more vigilant and aware of what is actually important, and break out of the box of what is trending on Twitter or Facebook.

Here at Colorado State University, we have the same problem. Columnist Lauren Willson recently wrote about how CSU favors our football team over our education, and I agree. Our students are focused more on how our football team is doing than what is going on at ASCSU, which determines where our funding goes to. More students know who we are playing next week rather than knowing that there’s going to be a possible impeachment of our ASCSU president. This ignorance of news might seem minor, but keeping these media consumption habits may lead to major problems once we are out of school. 

As college students, we are extremely susceptible to click bate and irrelevant news because we are exposed to it. We are the future of our society, we cannot become vulnerable to this trap of ignoring the news around us. To do so will make us ignorant ,and potentially dangerous, if we don’t know what’s happening. We need to be aware of all news, not just pop culture.

Leta McWilliams can be reached at letters@collegian and online at @LetaMcWilliams

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