Start paying attention (if you haven’t been)

Mike Davies, Editor-in-Chief Ω

Whether it’s the Idle No More movement (see Another movement afoot: Idle No More if you somehow don’t know what that is), the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline or the Ajax Mine project just outside of town, there are plenty of controversial and significant national and local issues surrounding you — and you need to start paying attention and forming a clear opinion on them based on facts and statistics. These are things you can’t avoid taking a side on. Sure, you could sit and watch them happen and take the outcome as inevitability, but you could also become informed and make decisions on how you’d like to see your country’s future and be a part of making that happen.

“Seriously?” You ask. “These things have got nothing to do with me,” you say. After all, you’re an arts (or other non-trades) student at Thompson Rivers University. “Just let me get my 120 credits and my piece of paper so I can join the workforce.”

Shut up and listen for a second.

If you have the “I’m just here to get my credentials and get out of here” mentality, you need a serious kick in the face. Do you think you’ll be getting your degree and going out into a world that is going to cater to you because you put in a few years at a school that didn’t have the word “secondary” in its name? You are the future of the Canadian landscape. You get to decide how we move forward as a nation.

You need to start watching the world around you. It’s changing more quickly every day now that Twitter and Facebook exist. Being ignorant of the socio-political world around you is no longer an option. You have no excuse…but please don’t rely on what shows up in your feeds to make your decision on things. Okay, rely on those things, but use them to start your research — and research the shit out of everything!

The articles in your news feeds are being shared by people who agree with what’s being shared in the articles they’re sharing. Get that? Good.

Sure, sometimes people will post the “Can you believe this idiot said this?” article, but they’re still sharing their opinion on an issue by doing so. They post status updates (and share things via Twitter) about “news” articles they’re reading…and you’re bombarded with opinions and “facts,” but please don’t rely on the majority of your friends to tell you what to believe.

It’s like when you’re using Wikipedia when doing your research for a paper. You know you can’t cite it as an academic source, but you go there first to find out the general ideas and concepts you’re exploring and use it as a launching pad to get your bearings about whatever it is you’re working on.

How about this: the next time an article shows up in your feed that you want to check out, go read it, but click every link in the article you’re reading and click every link in every article those links take you to.

Once you’ve explored all the links that person wanted you to take, find someone with the opposite view and do the same thing with their article.

Form a decision based on the information available, not just the information provided.

If you become informed about the things around you, you can more easily make decisions about the direction you want to take in life and more importantly, the direction you’d like the world around you to take.

Don’t graduate and go out into a world that you only know certain sides of and had no hand in creating, when you could do the opposite of that.