College is like its own little world, and it makes you forget that there is another world outside. This is not very good for a college student because you could easily lose track of what is happening in the world you live in. Knowing what goes on in the world around you gives you a chance to be more involved with how it evolves. Also, it gives you an advantage in internships or business interviews.
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are good starts to discovering what novel news media stories are out there. Think of it like this: news, on places like Facebook, is a conversation starter. Facebook and other social medias are a common starting ground for sharing information.
Have you ever gone to your friend and said, “Hey did you see this guy’s status?” and then have it spark a whole conversation? Having that conversation helped you learn things about your friends or whomever you asked about the status. Facebook ranges from top viral issues, like KONY and celebrity deaths, to local news, such as a friend’s birthday or even promoting merchandise.
“Facebook is good for getting the word around and promoting. Like for instance if I wanted to promote some stuff I’d go to Facebook; but in terms of being successful, Facebook won’t help me get a job. I have yet to go to an interview where they have asked me how good I am on Facebook,” says freshman Wykeema Stanley.
Although a good place to start for individual news updates, it is not enough to just pay attention to Facebook and other social networks. Jonathan Slade, professor for the Communication and Cinema Department and instructor for Introduction to Communication: Media, said, “Right now, Facebook, although it is trying to appear like a news source, is really just a form for opinion and trivia. But if they partner with some type of honored news media, that might change.”
Using Facebook as a source in an interview would probably not be a good idea. Every institution that requires a student to interview may ask their interviewee about current issues; they may do it just to stimulate conversation and to see how well rounded the interviewee is.
Huawei Technologies, one of China’s top telecommunications companies, actually has something called “Newsroom” that keeps media journalists up to date on the latest news. It is open to the public and you can access the newest news about their corporation. There are resources out there to help you become more informed about what is going on in the news today. Lots of corporations have “Newsrooms” on their websites. If you were interviewing at these places, it would be a perfect place to pick up recent information to use in your interview. Knowing things like this can help a person become a valued asset to a job.
In any event, you do not want to be that one person who does not know what everyone else knows in recent media. “I always hated being in those situations [late to popular news] because by the time I find out, it is already over. [I would rather have] been on the first to know basis, which is exciting for a moment then all the hype fades…” says freshman Edgar Philips. It is sometimes okay if you miss certain things, but it is best to stay prepared and on top of news.
Imagine being that person in class. You know that moment when your professor asks you about an assigned reading you have not read. There is an empty void of silence when you try to search for an answer that is not there; it is the worst feeling ever.
“Liberal arts is all about creating critically thinking citizens of the world…If you are going to be a citizen of the world you have to know what is going on in it,” said Professor Slade.
Stay on top of the news, and you will not be the person asking the questions–you will be the one answering them.