Monday, September 7, 2015

One of the Problems with Social Media and a Few Antecdotes

Hey everyone,

Sometimes in the morning, I like to go to a certain park that I love. Here I hike, walk, jog, depending on the mood I'm in. It is a beautiful area with a nice amount of hills and even a nature trail. In the mornings it is very serene and still. When it is that quiet, it is also when (in addition to enjoying the nature that's around me) my mind starts to wander and contemplate things. How our modern world loads us with mixed messages (which I have covered in previous blogposts) and how people tend to accept things as 'fact' without really looking into any origins or to maybe get another side to the story.
I heard this one brilliant example on a podcast and I really think that it does ring true with many today:

If someone (not a child, but a grown adult) came up to you and said "I think Santa Clause is real. I've seen him in books, hear people talking about him all the time, and I've even seen him in the malls and riding around on fire trucks at Christmas time! Therefore, I have no reason to believe he ISN'T real," you would most likely think that person as being more than a few bricks short of a building.

However, this is how many tend to approach the information fed to them on a daily basis. If it is said by their talking head of choice or their favorite celebrity, many unfortunately eat it up without question. Next thing you know, they are posting of it on Facebook, posting one meme after another, and belittling anyone that dares to question their logic (or lack of logic). If you present maybe some new evidence to them, they get even more indignant and continue on their tirades without so much of a glance at the new information. This, my friends, is what the wonderful world of social media has wrought. Yes, we all use it and I'm not saying that it isn't without its benefits and advantages. But unfortunately, many have taken it to a dark side of self validation. They have created a virtual world in which they are right and everyone else is wrong. They use it as an excuse to "continue believing in Santa Clause."

I apologize if some of my postings might seem a bit ornery at times, but frankly I'm beyond tired of people not using their brains (in case you haven't already guessed that).

So as I leave you to continue enjoying this holiday weekend, I will leave you with the following:

- Don't be afraid to acknowledge that you might not know it all.

- Don't be afraid to acknowledge that there is always more than one side to the story.

- Don't be afraid to acknowledge that everyone's experience is different and sometimes what you are getting is either biased or a regurgitation of a popular opinion (keeping in mind the "my lived experience calls your lived experience bullshit" adage).

- Don't be afraid to acknowledge that you are very likely only getting ONE side to the story.

- Take Professor Google, Professor Wikipedia, and Professor Snopes with a grain of salt.

- Be leery of "experts" that aren't open minded.

- Question those that deem themselves authoritative figures (yes, you can do this without coming across as disrespectful...and how they react to your questioning says much about their character and likely their credibility).

- Once you get these basic steps down, THEN you are ready to dig deeper. :)

Until next time, be well and question everything.







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