Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Some Thoughts I've Been Having...

In light the abysmal state of America's presidential elections, along with some currant events, I will say that it amazes me how many people just happily share memes and click bait 'articles' without doing any fact checking.
"But...but...that's what I've always heard/been told!" or "But it's what I learned!"
Well, do you actually bother to look into "what you've always heard?" Sometimes even if something seems legit, it isn't.
"But it shouldn't matter as long as the OP's heart is in the right place!" or "But the meaning behind the meme is what counts!"
No there's never any excuse for spreading misinformation. Plain and simple. I don't care who or what it's about. True, none of us are perfect, but let's at least TRY to get our facts straight.
Add to that, when it comes to the posting and giddily accepting of misinformation, I have to wonder the following: 
What is it about Facebook and current social media that seems to hinder the critical thinking part of the brain? I don't ever recall this being nearly as much of an issue in the days of MySpace or LiveJournal (unless it just didn't happen in the circles I was in). And in addition to happily posting poorly researched memes and click baits, an article about something positive in humanity (past or current), or one that sheds honest light on an event or issue, won't get nearly as much likes and shares as a meme that compares a disliked politician to a blowfish, the wicked witch of the west, Hitler, Stalin, etc.
As I said, I find this most curious because I really don't recall these things occurring - at least not to this extent - in the days when platforms like MySpace or LiveJournal were widely used. Yes, I realize that stupid people have always existed and there have always been people passionate about their opposing beliefs, but what is it about the current social media platform that seems to bring out the worst in people from all ends of the spectrum? To the point where people who challenge beliefs (whatever those beliefs might be) and think critically are the bad guys?


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