Why you should keep up with politics

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At the tips of your fingertips is a powerful tool — your smartphone.

Our smartphones have the capacity to access unfathomable amounts of information.

We can learn about any topic or any person.

We can read about events from hundreds of years ago or we can read about events happening right now.

Our smartphones enable us to connect to one another in unbelievable ways.

With this wealth of information available to us at all times, why are we so ignorant to what is happening within our government and country?

Many will claim they are too busy to keep up with politics.

They don’t have time to sit down and read articles describing the bills being voted on in Congress or to try and understand the latest executive bill issued by the president.

However, those same people find time to aimlessly scroll through Facebook and Twitter looking at and liking posts that criticize today’s politics.

They have time to post uninformed statuses complaining about laws and bills they did not research beforehand. This is unacceptable.

With the technology available to disperse news and to become informed, ignorance is no longer OK.

We can no longer accept the excuse of being too busy to pay attention or take action.

There are easy ways to incorporate the news and government’s workings into your daily life.

Follow some credible news sources on social media.

Many major news networks typically post short updates several times a day.

Download a news app and turn on notifications. This way, you will receive notifications about breaking news.

You could listen to daily news podcasts on your way to class. NPR has a daily podcast every morning that summarizes the biggest news of the day in under 12 minutes.

These are just a few ways to keep informed and are the first steps to being an active citizen.

All perspectives are important to acknowledge and consider — that is, all perspectives that are informed and truthful.

Before you post anything to social media complaining about the Republicans in Congress trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act or the Democrats pushing for stricter gun laws, take a moment to do some research.

Try to understand the situation and consider multiple perspectives.

Make sure you know who your congressmen and women are and how they are voting.

Perhaps you should consider contacting your members of Congress and telling them what you would like to see done rather than posting it on Facebook.

Your state’s senators and representatives have a responsibility to represent their constituents. However, Facebook friends do not give damn about your political rants.

Ultimately, you should not settle for ignorance.

You have the ability make an influence and to express your opinion in a productive way through awareness and action.

Micayla Ter Wee is a secondary education Spanish major and can be reached at micayla.terwee@jacks.sdstate.edu.

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