People who are naturally skeptical about what education and the media teach them tend to exhibit these five behaviors

There’s no denying it: media channels and forms of education each play an important role in shaping the way we think.

Whether political, economic or simply deeply held ideologies, each media outlet has its own specific interests to serve – and these elements have a huge influence on the information that reaches us.

Thanks to the internet and social media, we now live in an age where there is a new layer that can twist and distort the stories presented to us.

The speed and efficiency we’ve come to expect from our news means that journalists, editors and publications are all racing to quickly drop the latest bombshell, but in that race accuracy and journalistic rigor can sometimes lag behind.

Not to mention the echo chamber effect: where readers find themselves in an environment where they are exposed only to information or viewpoints that reflect and support their own perspectives.

We are all guilty of it: we surround ourselves with news that aligns with our pre-existing beliefs.

Furthermore, the rise and growth of profit-oriented educational institutions has led to the commodification of education.

These institutions operate from a monetary motive, which has compromised the quality of education in the name of financial gain.

Given the decline in journalistic accuracy and the increasing commodification of education,

There hasn’t been a more urgent time to become a smarter consumer.

Fact-checking, mixing up your news sources, and taking the time to educate yourself can help you stay informed in today’s digital news landscape.

But let’s go a little deeper. People who are naturally skeptical about what education and media teach them typically exhibit this behavior, starting with an innate curiosity.

1) They are endlessly curious and seek new ways to interpret the world around them

Those who show skepticism toward conventional teachings from education and the media often have an insatiable kind of curiosity.

This natural quality drives them to explore innovative ways of looking at the world around them.

This constant thirst for knowledge is rooted in a desire to look beyond the surface details in search of a better understanding of complex, often polarizing topics.

In this case, their skepticism serves them well as a crucial tool, allowing them to sort through the intricate details of information and challenge and question the accepted narrative.

Remember, it’s not just about them questioning things, or about them being the controversial person in the chat on purpose. It is a higher intellectual quest – a journey in which they peel back the layers of understanding for the greater good.

2) They support and invest in high-quality investigative journalism

People who are skeptical about what education and the media teach them often support investigative journalism in a practical way: by investing in it.

Since investigative journalism acts as a watchdog for society, investing in it aligns these people with their desire for more in-depth and unbiased information.

They deeply appreciate journalists who dig deep beneath the surface, reveal hidden truths and challenge conventional narratives.

It is a practical way for them to look for the most reliable and comprehensive insights, without simply accepting information.

So why might we all consider supporting investigative journalism in the future?

In the digital landscape, where clicks and views often generate revenue, clickbait journalism is more common.

It prioritizes sensationalism over substance, with the goal of quickly capturing reader attention and raking in advertising dollars.

Unfortunately, this approach can lead to oversimplified or even misleading information.

Investigative journalism, on the other hand, requires a huge investment of time and resources. It is not cheap.

This branch of the media delves deep into complex issues, exposes corruption and holds those in power accountable.

This process requires time, resources and a commitment to uncovering the truth, which sets it apart from the fast-paced, attention-grabbing nature of clickbait journalism.

An independent nonprofit newsroom, ProPublica, is one such example. It focuses on producing investigative journalism that is in the public interest. They have received several Pulitzer Prizes for their research projects.

By supporting investigative journalism, skeptics contribute to a robust and informed public debate.

3) They are global citizens and prefer to learn through more practical means, such as travel

Skeptical people who question traditional media and education often consider themselves global citizens.

They prefer to learn through cultural osmosis and hands-on experiences, such as travel, because it allows them to directly connect with different ethnicities, perspectives and realities.

Rather than relying primarily on the information presented to them, they believe in experiencing and observing the world firsthand.

This approach offers them a more tangible and authentic insight into the complexities that traditional forms of education and media cannot always accurately reflect.

It’s a way for them to expand their horizons beyond textbooks and news articles, seeking a deeper, more authentic connection with humanity.

They understand that language is not just a means of communication, but a gateway to understanding the nuances of a culture, as well as our past.

This practice-oriented approach strengthens their belief in the value of experiential insight.

4) They often reference information using a number of reliable sources

Think of skeptics as careful and cautious fact-checkers in a world of information overload.

They don’t just take things for granted, but go out of their way to verify what they encounter.

It’s as if they spend their lives putting together a puzzle with each source contributing a valuable piece, and through cross-referencing they see the bigger picture with a new kind of clarity and confidence.

So when skeptics encounter information, especially from traditional branches of education or the media, they make sure to compare it with multiple reputable sources to ensure that what they learn is supported by hard evidence.

It’s like asking the opinions of several experts before making a major purchase, like a car or a house. You wouldn’t just take the first offer on the table, right?

5) They are often self-taught, sometimes in more traditional fields such as woodworking or fishing

Individuals who question mainstream education and the media often find fulfillment in the tangible and practical aspects of self-education.

This can sometimes involve mastering more traditional skills such as woodworking or fishing.

This is because self-taught people may feel that mainstream education does not fully meet their specific interests or provide practical experiences.

So by delving into traditional, vocational fields, they not only acquire a unique set of skills, but also gain insight into craftsmanship that goes beyond profit-seeking universities.

For example, learning a skill like fishing allows them to connect with nature and gain first-hand experiences, creating a deeper appreciation for the natural order of life.

In other words, the choice to be self-taught in traditional fields represents a purposeful departure from the established norms of the time, which include modern media and education.

You might consider this a kind of practical rebellion: a conscious effort to explore beyond knowledge the limits of digital screens.

This journey not only equips them with practical skills, it also shapes a worldview rooted in personal exploration and a healthy skepticism of the more commonly accepted narratives.

Final thoughts

In short, people who are naturally skeptical of mainstream education and the media exhibit behavior that stems from deep curiosity and critical thinking.

They actively support investigative journalism for its unbiased reporting, abstaining from clickbait sensationalism. They embrace the mentality of a global citizen and prefer experiential learning through travel.

Their rigorous approach involves comparing information from reliable sources. They are often self-taught in traditional areas and rebel against established norms.

These skeptics embody a thoughtful, purposeful approach to navigating the oversaturated landscape of digital information.

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