Truth and Facebook


Folks, we have a problem. We all know that what we read on Facebook may or may not be true. We know that. It is a fact. Yet, smart, hard working people are believing everything they read.

Are we believing all the sensationalistic information because we want to think the worst of people? Are we aware that what is written may not be true, but yet we have a desire to believe it? Do we want to see people embarrassed? Do we have a need to know others have failed? Do we want to believe the worst of people?

I used to teach a college level class called Critical Thinking. To sum it up, it focused on honing our internal BS meter. You know, not just buying what people are selling. Reconcile what you read with what you know. Use your gut. Ask the primary source instead of believing secondary sources. Verify facts.

Hook, line and sinker is not a good position to be in if you are the one on the hook. Yet we keep getting hooked and do nothing about it!

For example, someone in my town did not follow City procedure. When the City tried to hold them accountable, the person started a social media and media campaign.  This person said lots of things that weren’t true and were easily verifiable as such.  But folks did not check the facts…not even traditional media outlets. Honest, hard working, law abiding tax payers spoke out in support of the person, not realizing they were condoning a crime.  To my dismay, these were people who knew better. Yet, they chose to believe erroneous statements.

This belief in whatever is presented is almost to the point of being an intellectual crisis. Is the bad guy the spin artist spouting out the wrong information? Or is the bad guy the shmuck willing to believe everything dolled out to them (and I think we all find ourselves in this situation from time to time)?

We see it in the election process, whether it is for a local council seat or in the bid for the White House. People tend to believe the most scandalous tales that the author feels free to make up and pass on.

All I ask is that we critically think through what we read. And that we are kind with any responses or opinions we express.  Our harsh judgement shouldn’t fall on the victim of these half truths, but rather the folks making up the stories and stirring the pot.

Life is short, and we have to share this planet…can’t we just all get along?

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