As a millenial, the internet is constantly reiterating the notion that our generation is doomed. Our kids will be technology obsessed, our wages will be low, and our environment will be dead. Personally, I read things like this and think, whatever, I’ll worry about it later. However, I read all these posts without knowing if they are in away way true, accurate, or even relevant at all. Perhaps it’s because I simply don’t care, but it is alarming that such a negative connotation can be based on a false reality. That is why I actually very much enjoyed reading Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World- and Why Things Are Better Than You Think. It made me feel not only hopeful for my future, but also more aware of all of the ways the media can spin a story. Our generation may not be doomed economically or environmentally but instead be defeated by our ignorance and susceptibility to manipulation.
I introduced this book to my dad after I read it because I knew it was right up his alley. Of course, I was right, and he loved it. After reading it he told me, “Anna, this book aligns perfectly with my beliefs. I believe in facts. Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” I agree with this mentality. I consider myself a person that strictly believes in facts, but also realized I do not take the time to learn if things are just that, factual. I think that is the case for many people my age and that is very dangerous. The ten chapters in this book investigate the instincts that the media preys on. Spitting out numbers should not mean anything. You can not just take headlines or any article for that matter, for what it is. Our generation needs to become more educated and use critical thinking to actually observe trends or else we will be manipulated in every way possible. This manipulation is can be used as a tool to sell things to a naive audience, whether it be a product or fear or whatever it is the media is trying to brainwash you into believing. As young men and women, we need to be educated consumers. This all starts with looking at the facts.
However, it is not just about money. Like I mentioned earlier, it is a common opinion that our generation is the worst and we are destroying the world. Rosling calls this the “Negativity Instinct” and suggests we need to find ways to overcome it. One of his suggestions is to look at history. On page 72 Rosling states, “The evidence about the terrible past is scary, but it is a great resource. It can help us to appreciate what we have today and provide us with hope that future generations will, as previous generations did, get over these dips and continue the long-term trends towards peace prosperity, and solutions to our global problems.” It is so simple. How can one look at the past and not realize how far we have come. With recent breakthroughs in science and technology, it seems silly to say that we will move backwards. It’s simply the “Negativity...