Feb. 18, 2019

Happy Presidents' Day

A study performed by Princeton University showed that 1 in 12 adults share false or misleading information through their social media accounts. In other words, “fake news.” Many will ask, “How was the study conducted and can we trust it?” Princeton University worked with the various social media outlets. They requested a targeted group send all posts they intended to share from an outside source prior to reposting it. Based on the controlled data, it was determined that 1 in 12 adults share fake news through social media.

More often than not, the person sharing the information never attempted to determine the source or the legitimacy. Most of us willingly share what we hear based on whether or not we like how it sounds. Most of us do not care about the level of accuracy as much as we care about the message itself. We want our voice to be heard. By sharing posts from other sources, we think we are assigning legitimacy to its contents. Plus, let’s be honest, we don’t have to take the blame if someone else doesn’t like what it is says.

As a person who writes and enjoys research, I find spreading lies and gossip very disheartening in the land of the free and the home of the brave. At the same time, I must remember freedom allows discrepancies. We aren’t forced to believe anything we don’t choose to believe.  Well, at least right now we aren’t forced.  Time will tell.

Do you care about accuracy and legitimacy? If you do, I think we must put facts behind our opinions. We cannot say something is true simply because we want to believe it. Even Christ provided proof.

“After eight days His disciples were again inside with the doors shut, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came and stood among them, and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Put your hand here and place it in My side. Do not be faithless but believing.’ Thomas answered Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” John 20:26-28