Smart Girls, how long did it take you to see Ellen’s selfie at the Oscars? How quickly did you watch the Sharkeisha youtube video after your friends started joking: “Sharkeisha, nooooo!”? How often do you check your phone to see if you have more Candy Crush lives, or a new Snapchat?
A CNN article wrote about a report which claimed the average person checks their phone 34 times a day. To me, that seems like a small number. My friends and I almost obsessively check our phones every ten minutes or so, even if it’s just to reassure ourselves that we’re not missing a funny tweet or two more Instagram likes.
With how often they check our phones, most of my friends can name the top three twitter hashtags trending every hour. But none of them can point to Crimea on a map.
Whenever I talk to exchange students, or visit foreign countries, I always feel embarrassed by how clueless and dumb I seem to other teenagers. My Ukranian friends know more about American politics than I do, and always roll their eyes at the ignorant American before explaining my own president’s policies to me. My friends from Spain were having intellectual discussions on Facebook about the ??? before I even fully understood what was happening. And…
When I came back from studying abroad in Scotland, I decided it was time for a change. I downloaded ten news apps and started checking the news religiously every morning, along with Twitter and Instagram. I started off by forcing myself to scroll through CNN and BBC every morning before I went to school. As the weeks passed, I started to become more interested in the articles I read, and even did some background research on things like the Zimmerman case and the protests in Thailand. Suddenly, I was the first of my friends to know about flight 370. I was the one rolling my eyes and reminding my friends who Oscar Pistorius and Philip Seymoure Hoffman was.
Smart Girls: you, too, can and should be the one rolling your eyes and explaining to your friends where Crimea is. News apps like USA Today, BBC, and CNN all give you alerts whenever important world events happen. The AP Mobile App also has push notifications and the NPR app has informative articles, as well as radio broadcasts you can listen to. Download one of these apps and check the news every morning along with Instagram and Twitter. Being aware of the world around you will help you form more intelligent opinions, and not sound like an idiot when you talk to adults or your foreign friends.