I originally posted this on Facebook. Posting here for posterity…
Back when I was in college (I studied philosophy… I know…) one of the things we were most concerned with was arriving at truth. It’s really complicated. There’s so many different perspectives for testing if something is true.
As the updates in my feed here get ever more political and charged with emotion, I’ve seen things that I know not to be true, facts spun as though they were true and truth framed out of context to represent an agenda.
The internet is the wrong place to find truth when truth matters. People complain about media bias and they forget that while media can cage truth in language they are bound by consequences for outright lies.
Those who write online are not as bound by these rules. When you see something on Facebook that has you up in arms, frightened or angry or even elated and ecstatic it’s worth testing it to make sure it deserves your emotional buy-in.
Ask yourself about the person or body pushing out the facts. Have they a vested interest in them? Is there another side? Can I get more independent verification?
Hysteria causes fear and fear is the real enemy. Fear cages us and causes us to make the wrong decisions. There’s always time to make sure you’re believing the right thing.
Otherwise you might find yourself in an apocalyptic cult, dying of measles with only a tinfoil hat and a shortwave radio to keep you company.
A little reading: