How to Balance Your Media Diet

How to Balance Your Media Diet


This just in to TT News. A source close to the elephant community confirms
that pachyderms don’t—do NOT—like eating peanuts. The source saying, quote, “they do not like
that junk inside their trunk.” Joining us to talk about this startling news… …Elephant rights activist Tadd Gray, and
the CEO of Big Top Peanut Butter, Carl Crunch. Thank you for joining us. My pleasure
Of course Tadd, what do you make of this news? Well I think it’s great that elephants are finally owning their truth
and— With all due respect, Brad—
It’s…Tadd. —this is ridiculous, fake news quite literally
planted by the cashew industry to sink peanut profits. These millennial elephants, with their kale
and— That is a stereotype, Carl. I REFUSE TO TAKE KALE TO THE CIRCUS,
TADD Can we focus on—
We celebrate food diversity, Carl. If you could look past your peanut privilege, and WHAT’S NEXT? RABBITS DON’T LIKE CARROTS?
just explore the diversity of foods GUINEA PIGS DON’T LIKE THOSE LITTLE VEGGIE NUGGETS?
that pachyderms consume across the world, you might just HORSES DON’T LIKE HAY?
understand what we’re getting at here. I DON’T KNOW WHO EATS WHAT ANYMORE, BRAD. It’s true, by the way. Elephants don’t really like peanuts, and peanuts
don’t have enough nutrients or calories to support an animal that size. But for years, trainers have coaxed elephants
into eating peanuts out of the hands of circus-goers because it made for a good show. And, unfortunately, when it comes to the media
we consume, most of us are also being fed a media diet that can’t give us everything
we need—even if it, too, makes a good show. Here’s how we can break out of that media
circus—and balance our media diet. One thing we can all do is to intentionally
feed ourselves by diversifying our news feed. Even when we download news apps or sign up
for news alerts or follow news stories on Snapchat and Instagram, we’re letting someone
else decide our media menu. This means missing out on a lot of important—and
interesting and inspiring—stories! Yeah, dude, I mean, sometimes you’ve just
gotta, like, make your own kale chips. It’s actually really easy—I can give you the
recipe if you want! No, I—I’m good. Thanks anyway. So, anyway, going beyond news alerts and seeking
out a variety of news sources can help burst our filter bubbles and expose us to different
perspectives. Go ahead! Scroll down. Search, and discover! Otherwise, you might not know, for example,
about the guy who has spent thousands of hours under water to photograph and fight for ocean
life. Or how the movie Hidden Figures led to a program
that will benefit girls and women across the world. Stories like these may not be trending, but
they matter. They give us hope and ideas of our own that
might inspire us to take action in our own lives. So instead of waiting for news to come to
you, feed yourself. Another thing we can do to balance our media
diet? Fact-check stories with real-world context
clues. Most of us are pretty tech-savvy. But sometimes the way we share news can leave
us vulnerable to fake or biased stories. So, how can we “check ourselves” before we
“wreck ourselves”? Heh heh heh… Please…don’t ever say that again, OK? What I was going to say was, when you’re consuming
news, remember to look outside the frame. If a friend sends you a screenshot of a news
story, pause before you react or share it. Seek out the rest of the story and make sure
that snippet is a fair representation. Even live videos and photos are framed. What’s happening behind the camera? What happened before and after someone hit
record? Look for other angles of that story. We’ve all had our friends post pictures of
us where we look like half-awake monster-versions of ourselves. What if that’s how the rest of the world saw
us without also looking at our incredibly filtered, perfectly angled selfies? Yikes. Don’t fall for the same trick. Finally, balance your social media diet, too! Look, most of us don’t get our news delivered
to our porch by a kid on a bicycle, anymore. No offense, Grandma. None taken, sweetie! A lot of us get our news, or our reactions
to the world, through friends or people we trust on social media. But it’s easy to get trapped in that bubble. So if you find yourself scrolling through
social media for hours a day, make sure you follow a diverse range of accounts. People like you. People not like you. And protect your mental health. Feeling self-conscious? Follow accounts that affirm your identity
or promote body positivity. Feeling depressed about the news cycle? Follow accounts that offer funny videos, watch
GIFs of goats doing yoga, send silly snaps to each other. It’s okay to have some junk food in our media
diets. It keeps us sane, and keeps us smiling. The key is not isolating ourselves and doing
our best to see the world as it actually is—the good, the bad and the ugly. So the next time the media circus tries to
feed you peanuts, remember: You have the tools to feed yourself. Are you sure you’re eating enough? Even if not everybody else thinks so. I may have some…peanuts back here.

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