First published by Chicamod, an online magazine committed to create 1 Million Jobs for the African youth while making Africa visible not only within Africa but also on the global stage.
One day, take a random walk to a newspaper store. Observe who most buys the gossip magazines. On a boring day, buy a pack of gossip magazines or check them out online. Take note of the shaming titles and their contributing authors. Around the month of March, take a random look at the headlines aimed for International Women’s Day. Observe the kind of rights and respect women demand.
Ladies, we need to ask ourselves some serious questions. Why do we consume gossip news? Why do we accept gossiping as the standard for novelty? As if it is not humiliating enough to ogle over shameful headlines about other people, we consume recycled news as if drugged. We preach about compassion, yet are poor in practicing it. Daily we are confronted with choices to test the moral standards we preach. Whether a click of a button or a page torn out of a magazine, we make a choice to either give dignity or shame to a fellow human by forwarding and sharing. Imagine if it were you travelling the spaces of text messages, Whatsapp, YouTube, tabloids and others in such humiliating news. Would you consciously make again the choice you did?
How many times has the theatrical headline lured you to quench curiosity? How many times did you find the news contradicting the title? How many times did you consider that what you were reading was unfounded? How many times did you stop the sharing of shaming news? How many times did you dare scold the source of the gossip?
The access to the internet and other social media platforms is no longer a luxury of a few people. In this age of easy digital access, it can immensely change economic growth and social change. However, it can also cultivate a toxic culture of consuming mediocre information. As the internet booms in the developing countries, there are opportunities to grab and there are opportunities to pass. Sound news is integrity. Gossiped news is wicked. There are people of integrity spending time to research the truth offline and share it wisely. In contrast, there are merciless people ready to circulate fact distorted news for fame. The latter are seconded by lazy sources willing to duplicate in order to fill empty columns.
Whether online or offline, which one do you wish to nurture? Do you wish to encourage remarkably researched or second rate news? Do you wish to normalise ethical or unrighteous information? Do you intend to feed your brain with inspiring food to be a good person, or with a diet which discourages such things? The choice is yours.