Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Internet and the Truth

I read things on the internet and on Facebook every day that are obviously not true. I am by nature a skeptical person and I do read a lot of things. It seems that my reading is more news articles these days and not the literature I have been enjoying the last few years. Personally, I think taking things out of context to change the meaning of what people actually say is demeaning, lying and wrong. I try to do some research before I post anything on my blogs. I share my opinions frequently and I encourage feedback and enjoy hearing other opinions. I recommend that if you read anything I write that you do not think is true, check it out for yourself – do not take my word for anything. This is a recommendation I suggest for anything you read anywhere. If a statement is in disagreement with what you know or believe, check it out – this is called education – that is how opinions change.

The most egregious posts I see on Facebook are usually political in nature and may come from either party or ideology. The saddest part about these posts is they are often shared by people who support the party or point of view of the original, knowing the facts are inaccurate. This is sad. We owe more to ourselves than to pass on information we know to be false.

There are many well-known biased websites that I hear quoted all the time. I do not visit any of these websites personally, because if you make a comment to correct anything, the regular readers slay you in print for having an opinion different from their own. Most of the people I know are older and have formed their opinions based on their life experiences. Being older does not mean we are past learning or changing our opinions, although these changes come less frequently as time goes on.

In real life right now we have many, many politicians that are secretive and deceptive. We have always had politicians that stretched the truth and told their story their way. We all know this. I use hyperbole myself, on occasion. I also like irony, when I recognize it. We have always had politicians that are less truthful than others, but I do not remember a time in my life where I thought so many politicians were being untruthful with their constituents. I feel our decision-making for elected officials is flawed, because we keep sending people to Washington that will not listen to what the populace is telling them. We need to fix this.

Before you jump on the bandwagon believing something you read on the internet, see if it passes your own smell test. Do not share political and hateful diatribe without thought. Be true to yourself. I have friends that think differently than I do and most of the time I respect their opinions, even when we do not agree. Let us be part of the solution to reduce untruth on the internet.