Doing your own research is a matter of survival these days, and often literally. Because if you don't, you might easily end up being sick and poor with no clue how that happened, and ultimately prematurely dead. More likely though failure to do your own research will just result in your life being a lot more difficult and painful.
Today people are not only extremely uninformed [except on absolutely irrelevant issues like celebrity divorces and football scores] but also highly misinformed. Thomas Jefferson said: "As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers." And that was some 200 years ago, today it's much worse.
People are being fed tons of nonsense through the MSM [mainstream media] and while most of them know some of it is not true, they still consider much of the rest, which is also not true, to be common knowledge. You know like when some idiot makes up something called Anthropogenic Global Warming and before you know it, everyone "knows" this thing exists, when it doesn't. Of course those few who do their own research will easily find out about solar cycles, simultaneous warming [or cooling] on all planets in the solar system, Al Gore's billions made on this scam while he's using 10 times more energy than the average american, and the fact that human impact on the global temperature is less than 1% among all the other factors and that this whole AGW thing is scientific nonsense. In the meantime the common people who watch TV become convinced that "all scientists agree on AGW." Well, they don't and never have. The trick is that the ones who don't, which is probably a majority, don't get a chance to get in the MSM and say something. The media are controlled by the same people who give orders to public clowns like Gore, Bush, Obama and the rest.
This is how it works with most things. All flow of mainstream information is controlled. The ruling class doesn't tell you the truth, they simply tell you what they want you to think and believe... or focus at. They don't want you to be smart and educated, they want you to be as dumb as possible. Controlling smart and knowledgeable people is difficult because they see through your bullshit. Controlling masses of morons is a child's play.
Besides the obvious control of the media, the worse part is that mainstream science and the educational system are a part of it as well. This is simply achieved by money. Almost all money is concentrated in the hands of much less than 1% of the population - international banking, oil business, multinational corporations... you will always find the same bunch of people at the top. Scientists and schools need money and these days most funding for just about anything comes from these rich madmen. Of course all of this funding has strings attached. Need money for a scientific study of solar cycles and their impact on Earth's atmosphere? Forget it, we can't have you running around proving AGW is a scam. Want money to research the impact of global warming on some random animals? Sure, here you go! The educational system should be controlled by the government but what is this government? How did all these guys become parliament members and senators? They needed money for that, you know. Where did they get it? Hah.
So you're being fed lies by the educational system, like learning that ancient civilisations were "primitive" because if you learned the truth, that they were in many ways more advanced than us, in some ways A LOT more advanced, you might start asking how the hell we got to where we're now. But they tell you we're more advanced than people have ever been so everything is ok, go back to sleep.
Then you're being fed lies by science, implanting in you this materialistic view of life and teaching you that anything can be understood by dissecting it on a table. Much of the science you know may be correct, but much of it isn't, and more importantly, there's plenty of good science that you've never heard of. The control is in which science you know about and which you don't.
And then there is the MSM whitewashing you with lies and propaganda every day to ensure you feel like you know and understand everything you need, and you can just relax and let the "government" and bankers run the world.
Don't even get me started on health and nutrition, cause that's the worst [much on that coming soon].
Ever noticed how despite our alleged "scientific progress" and technological development you work more than ever and still don't have enough money, and people are sicker than ever with more and more diseases that our "supreme" medicine somehow doesn't seem to be able to cure? While logically, if all we're being told were true, we should barely have to work, be perfectly healthy and live like in heaven. So what's wrong with this picture?
That's what you should find out. Unless you want to be a zombie, a blind, automated robot controlled by the ruling class, you have to do your own research. Every day. All the time. On everything you really want to know anything about.
The way to do it is fairly simple though it will take some time for you to figure out what and whom you can trust. Ignore the MSM. The probability that anything they're saying is true is below 50%. That's about as good as asking your random co-worker. It's best to throw away the TV completely, because it only steals your time, keeps you in trance and keeps you dumb and misinformed. You have the internet... or books.
Use a decent search engine that doesn't store all your data and hand it over to gvt agencies when asked, like the "mainstream" one. Don't trust wikipedia on anything that relates to politics... or anything where there might be a hidden agenda. Don't trust anyone who is sponsored by corporations, bankers etc. With time you'll find websites and people who provide solid information but in general checking multiple sources is the key. If you only have one source for a specific information, you can never be too sure about its validity. Don't believe anything just because somebody "they" call a scientist says so. Any information you receive should be explained well enough for you to understand it and see that it actually makes sense. If it lacks any meaningful explanation, then it's worthless.
By the way, if you still intend to watch/read mainstream news, look at how they structure their sentences, what words they use, and how they try to make it look that they have some good info while if you REALLY listen, you can hear them say "we basically have no idea so we're just guessing." Look for words like "allegedly," "might be," "could be," "seems to have," and so on. When they tell you something like "according to some scientists, watching TV seems to have a beneficial effect on your brain," they're obviously full of shit but at the same time, if you listen, they're actually admitting it. "According to some scientists" means there are clearly other, maybe most scientists, who don't agree. "Watching TV seems to have a beneficial effect" means "we don't have a clue if it has a beneficial effect but SOME guys THINK that MAYBE it does." In fact this message is not telling you anything at all, but standard TV addicted zombies will leave the TV with the idea planted in their subconsciousness that "watching TV is good for their brain."
After some time of watching them use all these tricks it becomes fun to see how they present a "news story" that lacks any substance whatsoever and is based completely on guesses of random people.