I've found that being politically and socially well versed can be rather rewarding in a few small ways, but the smallest things can make the biggest difference. This knowledge allows you to connect to people and nothing is more rewarding than that.
Connecting with older generations: I recently moved in with my grandparents and it has been one of the most beneficial things I have ever done. My grandmother bequeaths upon me knowledge that I do not receive in a classroom or from a textbook. We spend each morning after breakfast discussing life, politics and everything in between.
I enjoy spending this quality time with my grandmother; however, it is also a lesson in talking to ANY ancient. The older generations are more likely to watch the news or read a newspaper daily. Not only are they well informed from these resources, but they have years upon years upon years of life experiences and knowledge about life that we cannot get from our peers or a book.
Connecting to strangers: I went to Olive Garden after work on Wednesday and enjoyed the best service I have ever had ANYWHERE. I am entirely convinced that it is because, early on, during the meal the waiter and I shared a wonderful conversation on the flooded wine warehouse in the northern part of the country.
The NY Times has millions of daily readers around the world. CNN has over forty-two million viewers a day. There is a good possibility that the person in the elevator with you saw SOMETHING that you saw too. Not only does this make the elevator ride a little less awkward...if that's possible...but you might even make someone's day better.
Connecting with society: It is our duty as Americans to know what it going on in our own country. We cannot complain about the government's actions if we do not fully know what they are doing and do not do our part to elect decent politicians.
We must also remember that our actions affect more people than just ourselves. Being politically and socially well-versed allows us to make decisions and act in a way that will benefit the most people.
I have come to thoroughly enjoy sifting through the NY Times every morning. With my morning coffee and bagel by my side I feel like an upper-class intellectual young woman dressed in her pearls and Calvin Klein dress....in reality I'm in spandex and an over-sized shirt squinting at my (cracked) phone screen because I can't afford glasses until next month.
Lesson #3&4 in becoming a fully functioning adult:
Always have a case on your phone so that you can drop your phone multiple times a day without repercussions.
Save money to buy glasses and contacts for when you accidentally break yours and run out of contacts.