The Age of Headlines

By Jayden Beatty

The digital age has required media consumers to obtain their news in new ways. Now that I primarily interact with the outside world with my phone rather than in person or even with a laptop, I get most of my news from Twitter.

I consider myself to be fairly well educated on current events but, as I tracked my media consumption, I began to notice what could be considered a disturbing trend. I realized that my knowledge of current news stories were limited to what was mentioned in headlines rather than in full articles. I found that as I scrolled through my Twitter feed, which is filled with links to stories written for a variety of news outlets, I very rarely actually clicked on any links to read the full story. I would simply read the headline and feel caught up on the days events.

Knowing what media bias there is and knowing the strategy that some media outlets have adopted where they use misleading headlines to draw in readers, I am aware of how dangerous this pattern of behavior is. The sad fact is that I rarely have enough time to read an entire article so I typically only absorb 140 characters of news at a time.

The news is obviously much too complex to be explained in so little words but I’m left wondering if it is too late to break this habit of only reading headlines. I feel like society has bred me to do so, so how does one break away from conformity?

Twitter has done some amazing things in regards to making connections and providing the common man with a public outlet. But, despite these benefits, is it logical to say that Twitter is devaluing news because each tweet only shows a headline?

The Age of Headlines

One thought on “The Age of Headlines

  1. I think you bring up a very good point. What are we missing when our news comes from a 140 character blurb about an issue/event rather than reading the whole article. Also there is the problem with sensational headlines taking over. If your rely on Twitter or Facebook for your news sources, what you will find is going to be related to what people around you are talking about. These ‘trending’ issues come and go and can leave a large hole of missing information. I think this is a very relevant issue especially for our generation because I know I find myself getting a lot my information by reading interesting links that pop up on Facebook or Twitter.


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