|Posted on May 8, 2020 at 1:25 PM|
I've seen a flurry of activity on my social media. Of course, that is what social media is for: sharing.
But when sharing starts to encompass fearful rhetoric, conspiracy theories and angry messages, I worry. I wonder where has the critical thinking gone? When we quickly share a meme, a joke, a photo that makes us smile or laugh, I know I don't always put too much thought into it. But when we share impactful videos and messages, without doing ANY fact checking, questioning 'Is this true'? we do ourselves and our friends a disservice.
I've had worries about our current situation, I have questions, uncertainty. But I strive to question, find out more and strive for fact-based information.
I implore you to please ask questions when you post:
Who is this person?
Are they credible? How so?
Who is the reporter? Are they credible? How so?
What is their agenda? Why is this being shared?
Who is their audience? What is their goal?
What is their platform? What is their media outlet?
Who owns or supports that?
Why would they post this?
Would could they stand to gain?
Who would speak for this? Against this? Why?
Look things up and consider as many questions, as many sides as you can.
Often, we embrace things that a good friend has shared, or that fits our narrative. But in these times, it's so crucial to take a moment, ask questions and think critically about it.
I remember learning about commercials in school-breaking down word use, images and suggestions used by advertisers to sway us. One shampoo commercial stated, 'For hair so healthy-looking, it shines.' At first, I could not see any problem, but after conversation with classmates, we realised, 'what is healthy-looking?.. what does that phrase mean? Wouldn't hair be simply 'healthy'.. and that was the hook. The company made no promise of health, but used words to imply it. And, of course, the hair model they used had long, beautiful, thick hair to visually appeal to us as well. Could an older man with thinning hair use this shampoo? Of course he could, but that woudn't inspire sales! And that's the job. To inspire sales.
So, when watching a YouTube video, sharing an arcticle, posting a theory, ask yourself: Am I critially thinking? Or am I just floating along, sharing, scaring. And if so, please take a moment to reconsider your role. You can reset. If you've been sharing in a quick moment something you scrolled past, without much consideration, that's okay. But starting now, RIGHT NOW, you can do better.
We are #inthistogether. Let's do better, together.
Categories: Peace & Love