A couple of days ago my friend and I found a humorous screen shot of a conversation between two friends. The first friend exclaimed, "Osama is dead!" and the second friend mistakenly took "Osama" for "Obama" and replied that she could not believe that the president was dead.
When the first friend corrected her, he added that Osama used his wives as shields to protect himself from danger. The second friend responded: "like the first lady?"
While my friend and I had a good laugh after reading the comical conversation, I could not help but wonder how some people can be so ignorant of world affairs, particularly the ones that demand national attention.
Don't get me wrong, the mistake that the second friend made was funny, but it is still unacceptable in a broader context.
The sad truth is that our generation has been so lost in the distractions of today's society that people sometimes forget that there is a world beyond the one around us.
As technological innovations advance, America becomes increasingly progressive. Most of us enjoy the luxury of owning our own laptop or smartphone. We have cars that can take us anywhere we want. We have social networking sites that allow us to escape our own lives and spend hours learning about the life of someone else.
In the midst of all this innovation, we become trapped in an ever-expanding bubble. Our vision of the outside world becomes blurred, and we become less and less world aware. When I use the word "we," I certainly do not mean every American citizen. Many of us who are a part of this societal change manage to become active in truly grasping the world.
Undoubtedly, students have a direct obligation to pass their classes and graduate from school. In many cases, this means sticking to the margins of one's major and doing what it takes to succeed in the lifestyle that the major demands.
Consequently, students are not being exposed to a broader scope of knowledge. Some of the most pivotal global issues and national conflicts are being taken for granted, resulting in a wide array of narrow-minded individuals.
In today's society, a narrow-minded person does not necessarily equate to an unsuccessful person. This speaks volumes about the types of people that our country is breeding.
Some may argue that it is unfair to criticize those who are not up to date on the most recent Middle Eastern conflict or the shifting geopolitical landscape of our country.
After all, these people may be the millionaires creating our laptops and TVs, or they may be the overworked students who are just trying to make ends meet.
Perhaps, in some way, such people deserve admiration. But in a broader context, is isolating ourselves to a specific lifestyle our only responsibility?
American citizens must become world aware to some extent or else risk the chance of our country falling into the hands of unenlightened individuals. Perhaps the biggest issue is that the tradition of America's fierce intellectualism is at risk.
In this era of globalization, Americans cannot live in isolation. Even though we are still a major player on the international stage, our lead role is shrinking. To avoid being replaced by another country, we must have a solid understanding of national and international issues. Collective competency of such issues will allow us to choose the strongest leaders to direct America in the right direction.
It is only when we are well informed that we gain the ability to make the right judgments, distinguish right from wrong, fight for justice, protect our interests and, best of all, create a successful society and a peaceful world.
I urge you to replace the time you normally spend on Facebook and read a few news articles.
Akansha Mishra is a pre-law junior at UF. Her column appears on Fridays.