Staff editorial: Bias is not bliss


Liz LaHood

Digital illustration depicting an individual researching information online.

"The Express" Staff

With accessibility to the internet increasing, we have an incredible amount of information at our fingertips — more so than previous generations. The spread of information is becoming more immediate, making it more and more difficult to differentiate fact from fiction. As social media algorithms become more intelligent, it is easy to get lost in an echo chamber of a specific belief. Narrowing the scope of your content intake will only further radicalize your views; education and awareness of other people and the struggles they go through are necessary to developing an unbiased worldview.

With the spread of misinformation becoming rampant, utilizing various reliable and unbiased sources is key to developing healthy skepticism and avoiding incorrect information. People are less likely to be skeptical of ideas that already align with their moral and political beliefs, even when the idea should be criticized. 

There are many different experiences that influence perspective, and we need to be mindful of how your own life experiences can shape your bias. There are too many issues that we are not fully educated on and aware of.

In the Middle East, wars have caused the deaths and displacement of millions. While we are privileged to not have this violence in front of our eyes, it still affects individuals within our community. It is also our moral obligation to stand up against unjust violence, even if it seems far away and removed. Although we cannot stop the violence ourselves, we can use our resources to combat the falsities and bias surrounding these issues.

Not only that, but too many of us are unaware of the rights we possess. Not knowing the law will leave you unprotected against corrupt authorities and governments. Not knowing what to do when being pulled over could mean the difference between life and death for some of us. Furthermore, medical prices are rising due to corrupt and greedy corporations, something many of us are unaware of. Even if this might not affect you individually, someone with these medical and financial challenges could be sitting right beside you. 

 Understanding the intricacies of our economy, government, society and earth is crucial to being a contributing member of society. Empathy is a necessary part of being human, making it our responsibility to stand up for others in need, even if we do not endure the same struggles as them. As you read this issue, our staff uses different stories and perspectives to exhibit various ways people have struggled due to a lack of, or false, knowledge. Whether it be due to rumors, lack of coverage or simply an overload of information, everyone is capable of falling victim to social ignorance.

Do not rely on others around you to form your opinions, be self-sufficient. Do not use social media sites as your only source of information, use reliable and trustworthy news references instead. When the resources to educate are right in front of you, there is no excuse not to utilize them. 

There are a multitude of backgrounds from which people garner knowledge and opinion. It is impossible for us to be attuned to all of these viewpoints, but that does not give us the right to close ourselves off to the experiences and insights of others. With the tools we have at hand, it is— now more than ever — our responsibility to stay informed and be watchful of misinformation.

 To get lost in an echo chamber of your own perspectives and beliefs is to be complacent. We have the unique ability to connect with people better than any generation before us, and it is high time we took advantage of that. Do not be complacent. Stay educated on the different struggles your peers go through and be aware of your surroundings.