With news and current events swirling around us at what seems like the speed of light, it's understandable to feel like you can't keep up. It's critical, however, to do so. Use these tips to up your game, while ensuring the information you're reading is credible.
1. Determine who your go-to sources for knowledge are and subscribe to their communications. This could be an e-newsletter for one of your favorite attractions, a video series from an expert in your professional industry on YouTube, or following an outlet socially or otherwise. If you don't see a subscribe button, reach out and ask to be added to the email communications list.
2. Follow hashtags. Whether it's COVID-19 related or not, following specific hashtags allows you to see the latest news and information, especially in real-time on platforms like Twitter. In a world where change is inevitable, hashtags allow news that's especially important to you to float to the top of your feed.
3. Set aside time each day to catch up on the latest. It's vital to take time to learn about the world around you. But don't get bogged down! Think critically about what's news and what's simply noise, and filter your inbox to reflect that.
4. Share your thoughts! Whether on your social media, blog, professional profile, or elsewhere, sharing your opinion on a topic or strategy gets the conversation going. You may end up having constructive dialogue—with those within your industry or others—that offers information you weren't privy to until now.
5. Expand your bubble. To truly see beyond your perspective of a situation alone, be sure your resources and feed include varying voices and professions, as to not create an echo chamber of only one viewpoint.
As always, when presented with information, determine if it's credible:
- Identify the source of the information and determine whether it's reliable based on the author or organization.
- Check sources for validity against other credible sources.
- Determine the purpose of the information.
- Ask yourself if the information is presented in a biased way.
- Check the date when the information was published.
- Search for citations supporting the claims made by the author or organization.
- Look for the use of proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.
- Examine the end designation of a website and how that relates to the information you're presented with.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for West Michigan Woman.