We are going to look at two examples of how society is being shaped by media headlines. They are also examples of why the American people are their own worst enemy. We have available to us more resources to seek out the truth than ever before. But we choose not to use them. We have limited ourselves to Memes – which at best only share half truths. Many times half truths turn out to be lies. So let’s take a look at a recent headline we saw, we will look at the other in a separate post.
Here’s a graph which was posted in an article about Millennials (people born 1981-1996) using data from Pew Research Center.
The headline tells us that 1 in 3 millennials now live with their parents. If we look at the 2014 data, we can see the orange bar would indicate that a little over 30% (1/3) of Millennials are living in the parents home. So we are being influenced to think, “Wow, that’s a big number.” And move on. But there is a lot more to be learned from this graph.
- Just looking at the 2014 data, we can also see that a little over 30% (1/3) are Married or Cohabitating in their own household. We can also see just under 15% are living alone, single parents, and other heads. Therefore, if we take those two numbers together, we could just as easily make the headline “Almost half of millennials now live on their own.” Doesn’t that paint a very different picture? One paints a negative picture, and one paints a positive one. Which does our media tend to choose?
- Since we already know there is a data group for “Living in parents homes, we should be able to deduce anything in the green category of “Other living arrangements,” do not include those living in their parents home. So we could also have a headline which reads, “2 out of 3 millennials now live on their own.” That’s a huge difference in how you are influenced to think about millennials.
If we allow headlines to think for us, we will miss out on so much truth which is right in front of us. Let’s zoom out and take a look at the entire graph.
- Based on the information provided here, we can see in 1940, 33% of millennials (22-37 years old) lived with their parents, and in 1880, 30% lived with their parents. Given this information, at both of those times they could have also had a headline which read, “1 in 3 millenials live at home.” What this means is, 2014 is not an out of the norm number. What we saw in 2014 really wasn’t significant. It wasn’t even worth reporting on. The only reason to report it is to change the way society thinks. And guess what, it worked!
- Based on this data, we could also see there should have been headlines in 1960 because the pattern change really happened then, not now. We can see the reason less millennials were living is home is most likely because so many people chose to get married or cohabitate, look at that number! Headlines that year should have read, “6 out of 10 ‘millennials’ are now married or Cohabitation in their own household.” Or they could have said, “Number of ‘millennials’ living with their parents drops almost 15%”.
- The only significant number in 2014 is the number of millennials who are NOT married or cohabitating in their own household and are now in the ‘some other living arrangement’ or’ living alone, single parent, or other heads.’
- We can’t tell from this data if there is anything significant about the number living alone, single parents, and other heads category because it looks like that number has fluctuated significantly in both directions. We would need more information to even bother looking at that number.
Over all, this graph is really subjective to whomever pulled the data. Why did they choose the years they chose? We are not able to see a trend in these numbers. They aren’t evenly spaced years. It really isn’t a good graph to base any headline off of, unless you already knew what headline you wanted to write, and you just needed data to support it. Think about that for a moment or two. Do you like being manipulated? Played? Brainwashed? You just were if you bought into this headline.