Just because it’s online doesn’t make it true!
Before you forward…
Believe what you read at its face value…
Do your due diligence and make an effort to verify the information. No matter how salacious or how badly you want that information to be accurate, you may be surprised to find out that it is not very often.
I pride myself on being informed. But I can’t be about everything — nor can you. It’s easier to fall in line and believe what the group-think mob wants you to think. But don’t you want to know what the facts are?
Investigate Don’t Propagate.
We live in a time when there is more information at our fingertips than ever. But that doesn’t mean that the data is legit. Instead, we stay in our tribes and follow that lead. Is that to be popular?
Or are you trying to show the world what a <insert here: virtuous, caring, trendy, cool…> person you are? None of that matters if you have no credibility.
If you care what others think about you, you want to be someone who speaks from the point of knowledge and credibility. You want to use your critical thinking. But, on the other hand, if you don’t care what people think about you, don’t you care about being misled?
From the “forward to all your friends” emails to social media on commendable topics to even the comments and blog posts from those you know or from sites you frequent. Never assume that that information is factual or legitimate.
To do so is simply irresponsible and a bit lazy, considering you have the resources available to separate the wheat from the chaff…
That is, if you want to know the truth.
Sadly, it appears more and more folks don’t. That is their choice if they want to live their lives in willful ignorance. But that’s not for me.
Even information you find on “well-known” websites should be questioned. Everything. Some of the biggest names can’t be trusted to give you all the facts. I find factual errors on some of the most “popular” websites. The reality is many have an agenda. And it isn’t you knowing the truth.
Everything you read or see online needs to be put through a “smell test” to ensure its legitimacy before you act or react and include it in an email, comment, social media, or blog post. There is no such thing as blind trust online.
How do you do vet facts in a day prevalent with misinformation?
By taking the time to read and check multiple sources. Not just the sources you know are all “on the same page.” Venture out, be daring, and check out the other side. Use. Your. Brain.
Read the information objectively to determine if it is presented balanced, reasonably, and unbiased. You know bias when you see it. (Even if it is your own.)
Do the statements, claims, or assertions seem irrational or preposterous? Be honest. Note any conflict of interest that may have influenced the arguments being made. Is the source known for being one-sided? Seek out the other side and make up your mind.
Have some curiosity, and don’t be a lemming — find out for yourself what the underlying truth may be. While you may not like the truth, why would you want to believe otherwise?
Truth or Fiction can help you to double-check email, social media hoaxes, and current Internet scams.
The Truth Matters
Bookmark Truth or Fiction. Then use it as part of your effort to double-check anything that gives you a reason to pause or question. Critical thinking is a skill that you need to work at continually and hone. If it sounds too good to be true, ridiculous, or one-sided — do a double-check.
By doing so, you join those intelligent and savvy onliners who don’t believe everything that is fed to them online or lands in their inbox because you choose to think for yourself.