There’s no denying it, media outlets and avenues of education each play a major role in shaping the way we think.
Whether it’s political, economic, or just deep-seated ideologies, each media outlet has their own specific set of interests to serve—and these elements massively influence the information that reaches us.
Thanks to the internet and social media, we now live in an age where there is a new layer that can twist and warp the stories we are presented with.
The speed and efficiency we have come to expect of our news means journalists, editors, and publications are all racing to quickly drop the latest bombshell, but in that race, accuracy and journalistic rigor can sometimes get left behind.
Not to mention the echo chamber effect: where readers exist in an environment where they are exposed solely to information or viewpoints that mirror and support their own perspectives.
We’re all guilty of it—surrounding ourselves with news that aligns with our already existing beliefs.
On top of this, the emergence and growth of profit-driven educational institutions have led to the commodification of education.
These institutions operate with a monetary motive, which has compromised the quality of education in the name of financial gain.
Given the decline in journalistic accuracy and the rising commodification of education,
there hasn’t been a more pressing time to become a smarter consumer.
Fact-checking, mixing up your news sources, and taking the time to educate yourself can help you to stay better informed in the current digital news landscape.
But let’s go a little deeper. People who are naturally skeptical of what education and the media teach them usually display these behaviors, beginning with innate curiosity.
1) They are endlessly curious, looking for new ways to interpret the world around them
Those who show skepticism in the face of conventional teachings from education and the media often have an insatiable kind of curiosity.
This natural quality propels them to explore innovative ways of looking at the world around them.
This constant thirst for knowledge is rooted in a desire to delve beyond surface-level details, seeking a better understanding of complex, often polarizing subjects.
In this case, their skepticism serves them well as a critical tool, allowing them to sift through the intricate details of information and scrutinize and question the accepted narrative.
Remember, it’s not just about them questioning things for the sake of doubt, or about them purposely being the controversial one in the chat, it’s a higher intellectual quest—a journey in which they peel back the layers of understanding for the greater good.
2) They support and invest in high-quality investigative journalism
People who are skeptical of what education and the media teach them often support investigative journalism in a practical way: by investing in it.
As investigative journalism serves as a watchdog for society, by investing in it, these people are aligning themselves with their desire for more in-depth and unbiased information.
They really appreciate journalists who dig well beneath the surface, unveil hidden truths, and challenge conventional narratives.
It’s a practical way for them to seek out the most reliable and comprehensive insights, steering clear of accepting information at face value.
So, why might we all consider supporting investigative journalism, in the future?
In the digital landscape, where clicks and views often drive revenue, clickbait journalism tends to be more prevalent.
It prioritizes sensationalism over substance, aiming to capture the reader’s attention quickly and drum up ad dollars.
Sadly, this approach can lead to oversimplified or even misleading information.
Investigative journalism, on the other hand, requires a huge investment of time and resources. It is not cheap.
This branch of the media dives deep into complex issues, exposes corruption, and holds those in power accountable.
This process requires time, resources, and a commitment to uncovering the truth, which sets it apart from the quick, attention-grabbing nature of clickbait journalism.
An independent, nonprofit newsroom, ProPublica, is one such example. It focuses on producing investigative journalism that is in the public interest. They have received multiple Pulitzer Prizes for their investigative projects.
By supporting investigative journalism, skeptics contribute to a robust and informed public discourse.
3) They are citizens of the world, and prefer to learn through more practical means, like travel
Skeptical people who question traditional media and education often consider themselves to be citizens of the world.
They prefer to learn through cultural osmosis and practical experiences, like travel, because it allows them to directly engage with different ethnic groups, perspectives, and realities.
Rather than relying mainly on the information that is presented to them, they believe in experiencing and observing the world firsthand.
This approach provides them with a more tangible and authentic understanding of the complexities that traditional educational and media formats may not always capture accurately.
It’s a way for them to broaden their horizons beyond the textbooks and news articles, seeking a deeper, more genuine connection with humanity.
They understand that language is not just a tool for communication but a gateway to understanding the nuances of a culture, and also, our past.
This hands-on approach reinforces their belief in the value of experiential understanding.
4) They frequently cross-reference information using a number of trustworthy sources
Think of skeptics as careful and cautious fact-checkers in a world filled with information overload.
They don’t just take things at face value, rather, they go the extra mile to verify what they come across.
It’s as if they spend their lives piecing together a puzzle where each source contributes a valuable piece, and by cross-referencing, they see the bigger picture with a new kind of clarity and confidence.
So, when skeptics encounter information, especially from traditional branches of education or media, they make sure to cross-reference it with multiple reputable sources to ensure that what they’re learning is backed up by hard evidence.
It’s kind of like getting opinions from different experts before you make a major purchase, like a car or house. You wouldn’t just go with the first offer on the table, right?
5) They are often self-taught, sometimes in the more traditional fields such as woodworking or fishing
Individuals who question mainstream education and media often find fulfillment in the tangible and practical aspects of self-teaching.
This can sometimes involve mastering more traditional skills like woodworking or fishing.
This is because self-taught individuals might feel that mainstream education doesn’t fully address their specific interests or provide hands-on experiences.
So, by immersing themselves in traditional, vocational fields, they not only acquire a unique set of skills, they also gain an understanding of craftsmanship that goes beyond profit-seeking universities.
Learning a skill like fishing, for instance, allows them to connect with nature and firsthand experiences, fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural order of life.
In other words, the choice to be self-taught in traditional fields represents a deliberate departure from the established norms of the day, which includes modern media and education.
You might like to consider this a hands-on rebellion, of sorts—a conscious effort to explore knowledge beyond the confines of digital screens.
This journey not only equips them with practical skills, it also shapes a worldview rooted in personal exploration and a healthy skepticism towards the more commonly accepted narratives.
To sum things up, people who are naturally skeptical of mainstream education and media exhibit behaviors driven by deep curiosity and critical thinking.
They actively support investigative journalism for its unbiased reporting, steering clear of clickbait sensationalism. Embracing a global citizen mindset, they prefer experiential learning through travel.
Their meticulous approach involves cross-referencing information from reliable sources. Often self-taught in traditional fields, they rebel against established norms.
These skeptics embody a thoughtful, deliberate approach to navigating the oversaturated landscape of digital information.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
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