A headline cannot tell readers a full story

February 5, 2016 Commentary, Editorials Print Print
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EDITORIAL | Writer says people today are too lazy to spend time reading an article fully

Ian Manera

Ian Manera

People are consuming their news in so many different ways.

For some, they go old fashioned and read a newspaper every morning.

For others, they get their news by watching the local and national television channels.

However, in this day and age, social media is the method I, and many of my peers, most often employ to get our daily fix of news.

Sure … social media is a great way to consume news, because you can be treated to a constant feed of breaking stories in real time the moment the news is actually breaking.

It’s very helpful and it’s very current.

At the same time though, social media is also absolutely horrible.

There are two sides to the spectrum, and the biggest reason for the negative side is that the need for instant gratification has rendered the collective attention span of Facebook and Twitter users so ridiculously short that it’s become practically nonexistent.

What I mean by this is that people no longer truly look at the articles anymore.

Any big, controversial headline on social media is spread like wildfire, and people never actually click the article.

This can cause so many issues when it comes to how people consume news and their knowledge of what’s going on, because a lot of the time, they’re straight up wrong.

This issue isn’t just because of the people reading the news. It’s also about the outlets that are putting out these click-bait headlines.

This can be true of reputable news outlets, or obviously sketchy ones. People believe everything and don’t spend the time to truly look at the article. A quick scroll through your timelines and you should be able to spot someone who is guilty of this.

For example, I’ve worked at Chipotle Mexican Grill for close to two years. Recently, Chipotle has come under fire for an e. coli outbreak in other parts of the United States.

I’m sure most people have heard about this. The outbreak has been handled really badly by media, evidence of this being the “outbreak” that occurred here on Oklahoma.

A Chipotle in Norman had traces of e. coli, and the news spread like wildfire. Everyone in Oklahoma quickly found out that ‘e. coli was found at an Oklahoma Chipotle.’

Very few of the headlines actually said which restaurant it was and some articles completely omitted the location of the restaurant.

Those headlines turned our Chipotle, the busiest in the state, into an absolute ghost town. Countless customers come in and ask if the e. coli issue has been taken care of at our location, even though we never had an issue.

This is something I still regularly hear about weeks later.

Overall, this issue is something I see regularly. Social media is a great tool for finding news, but it can also be very bad if it falls into the wrong hands.

While my example is very miniscule, the big picture remains. If people can completely avoid coming to a restaurant they normally frequent because they just   read the headline, imagine what happens when people have the same habit when it comes to actual issues.

If an article headline is interesting, readers should have no issue investing a couple minutes of their time into actually reading the article.

But, unfortunately, 140 characters is usually all people have the attention span to read.

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