With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram releasing news stories, often much faster than traditional news outlets, there comes a caution for the followers of that news. Not everything found on the internet can be classified as real news, and some of it can even lead to some major overactions.

Getting breaking news on a phone or iPad rather than buying a newspaper or waiting for the breaking news alert on TV, is often much easier for the younger generation. There is nothing wrong with getting the news that way, but most people fail to understand that having the news first means sometimes missing out on facts.

Sure, an eye witness or a report from someone who was first on the scene is always valuable. However, taking the time to understand the facts and the real story behind all the excitement will always lead to a better story.

Fake news is real, and thanks to social media it often spreads like wildfire. Posting a controversial news story might be a quick way to grow Instagram followers, even quicker than buying them. but it can backfire when the truth comes out. So how people use social media and also ensure that what they are reading is real?

First, use Social media as a doorway into the story. Most news websites and networks have some form of social media account, and the account often links to their streaming network or to an article where the rest of the facts are shown. Social media can be great for getting the attention on a story and giving a story to the masses, but once the attention is grabbed it should be sent to a reputable news source.

Next, don’t instantly jump on the news bandwagon, especially if the story has the potential to cause some problems. Sharing the latest piece of celebrity gossip is one thing, but sharing a story that has major ramifications for those involved can be harmful. Most news stories on social media are often touted as controversial, for the sake of being divisive.

So, when divisive stories pop up on social media, take your time in sharing them or see if it is really news. Sometimes, promoting the story can cause some major divisions.

Analyze all the news in your feed, and investigate them to see if they come from a reliable source or are being promoted on reliable news networks.  Use fact-checking websites and unsubscribe from people who are promoting fake news just to be decisive. Finally, act and don’t react to breaking news.

If the news is truly breaking, then nine times out of ten, other networks will stay on the story and continue to provide updates and facts as it happens. While fake news isn’t going to go away anytime, people can make sure it stays out of their feeds and lives.

While breaking news is often fast-paced and a race to get the story to as many people as possible, the response to the story doesn’t have to be.