It still amazes me how grown adult human beings can see something stated on the internet and automatically assume it is the truth. What I’m referring to is the myriads of photo memes and forwarded emails (the majority of which include no source for their claims at all) floating around the internet that people take for the truth without doing any double checking whatsoever. If it fits within their “want-to-believe” category, they believe it unconditionally. They could be totally benign and unintentionally wrong or seriously untrue with intent to hurt or demoralize but, c’mon, this is 2014 — we’re living in The Future. There are no flying cars but there is information buzzing around our heads everywhere — literally information is now accessible anywhere. A simple search engine check can usually tell you within seconds if something is real or not — but most don’t want to take the time to do that…maybe because they want to believe it so much or they’re just too lazy…but I just do not understand how, in this day and age, untrue statements are still being passed around like those annoying chain letters of the past.
Passing around something that is untrue is a terrible way to support your cause or belief — sharing a quote that is actually a misquote or a bogus quote in order to advance your particular way of thinking can only discredit your point. To me, that action shows that most people really don’t want to have a civil, intelligent discussion — they just want to be right and at any cost. If you are passionate about something, educate yourself fully — use the truth to project your beliefs — do your homework. If you only rely on undocumented statements and quotes and stories floating around the internet, you may want to rethink how passionate you really are for the truth. I really believe this is a very damaging phenomenon and it saddens me to see it grow. We’re much smarter than that…aren’t we..?
So, like Sergeant Esterhaus from Hill Street Blues always said, “Let’s be careful out there.” Don’t be part of the mindless mass that passes along whatever comes down the information superhighway — use your grey cells for good — think before ‘Liking’ and ‘Sharing’ — if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. I guess that’s a good rule of thumb for life in general. Did you know that the phrase “rule of thumb” is related to the belief that future British kings and queens never sucked their thumbs? It’s true…or is it…?