What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? You probably turn off the alarm. Then check your phone to see if you have any missed messages. The next step: opening some apps. Chances are, you open up either Twitter or Facebook to read the latest news. Sound familiar? Pew Research Center reports 63% of Twitter and Facebook users turn to these platforms for their source for news. Isn’t that interesting? Less than 10 years ago, we were getting our news through traditional media sources like newspapers and morning news. These days, social media sites get us the news faster than traditional media outlets.
Twitter is known for being the platform for ground-breaking news as events are happening. 59% of users report using Twitter as their go-to source for breaking news according to Social Media Examiner. This is great, but how do you know find out what is happening in the world? Find the hashtags that are trending in the search tool. When many users send out tweets about an event using a specific hashtag, the topic starts trending. The amount of tweets can range from 600 into the hundreds of thousands. See this in real time by watching any channels on politics, sports, and popular TV shows. Then jump on Twitter and browse the trending topics. You can see tweets happening live during the events. Tread lightly though. When browsing through the trending topics, you may find plot spoilers for your favorite shows, especially if that show hasn’t aired in your time zone yet!
Facebook is another social media site to get information, with 31% of users reporting using it for news. Since the last update, Facebook has introduced trending topics like Twitter’s. Yet more users still verify the news on Twitter. After news breaks, you’ll hear users say, “It’s trending on Twitter.” Although breaking news isn’t the highlight of Facebook, news about shows is. Just recently, UZU shared a video from American Ninja Warrior. What I didn’t know was that the episode the video was from had not been aired yet. The episode was scheduled to air that evening! How interesting is that?! There might come a time where we don’t see a need for cable TV anymore since we can watch our shows online for free more and more. Unless you watch shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, or How to Get Away with Murder, we don’t know how to fine those plot spoilers.
As far as we can see, traditional media will be replaced by social media as the primary source for news. We’ve been seeing this shift from printed news to digital news for quite some time now. Our social media profiles let us customize the news we want to read in a way traditional media never let us before. Instead we can follow the brands, organizations, and news outlets that we relate most to and love. We do need to leave you with one warning: don’t believe everything you read online. With breaking news online, you don’t know if you’re getting reliable news like the New York Times or The Washington Post, or something more like a tabloid. Articles will be published shortly after the event to with the correct details.
Social Media continues to be the “bleeding edge” of where to find all the newest information out there, although it may not be quite as reliable as the New York Times. Once the news breaks, wait for the facts to be confirmed. Other than that, happy news reading!