Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. Blogs. All those apps that my daughter knows and understands that I won’t hear about for another three years. There are myriad ways to be “out there” on the cyber entertainment world. We can connect through games and shared interests. Meet new people. Reconnect with old friends. The internet is flush with ways that we can have as many cyber acquaintances as we wish.
But is it a good thing?
Many have chosen to completely cut the cord on social media- they have no notifications popping up on their phones. They aren’t tagged in pictures and don’t know what great Aunt Sally did on her vacation to Mexico, or what their friend from second grade ate for lunch.
There are some, like me, who begrudgingly hold on to Facebook, because we know that it’s just an easy way to share milestones and pictures with friends. I have way less then the “normal” amount of friends on Facebook, and I don’t care: If I add you it’s because I actually care about you and what you’re up to. I also admit that in the last year or so I have deleted many people, and I have seriously considered getting rid of my sister and mother as facebook friends because they just post the most ridiculous stuff. (FYI- they are completely opposite on all their thoughts and opinions, so it’s not like I don’t like their “side”)
Now when I say ridiculous, I mean they don’t actually think about what they’re posting. They share things that have no basis in fact, things that I could refute in about 3 seconds. My sister will share and say “right on” to something that doesn’t make sense at all…I mean…can’t even pass a basic logic test. My Mother will share and say something like “Get it yet” which is a joke, because I don’t think she gets it. My Mother and sister have fallen into the trap of believing what they’re seeing, because they are so entrenched in their beliefs and value systems that they will literally cling to anything which supports it, no matter how extraordinary it is.
If you are going to share something on social media, check the source from which it comes. A poll whose source is the website that printed it is not a source. A picture is only worth a thousand words if it has not been photoshopped to death. Read what the opposition is actually saying before you form and opinion and post something so it remains in cyber history forever. Know what you are posting.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and they’re even allowed their own soapbox to shout it from. What they should not be doing is spreading things that are false. Don’t become a social media gossip. Don’t repost something just because it’s there- not everything needs to become viral. Remember, the more sensational something appears, the less likely it is to be completely accurate.
Your opinion should be a conclusion you have come to based on research on both sides of a topic. Period. If you are not clear on both sides of something you can not form a valid opinion. Have you ever heard someone say “I hate opera”, only to find out they’re never actually been to, or heard, an opera? That’s what some of these rants are like. They don’t know anything about a topic, yet they have an opinion.
My Father in law is what I refer to as an agitator. He has no actual knowledge to go along with his opinions, yet he likes to goad you into a conversation. A few months ago he was literally mouthing the words of a television commentator, and was asking me my opinion on the subject. I tried to stay out of it, but he’s an annoying little gnat and just keeps bothering you, so I finally gave up and engaged.
Discussion of topic A:
FIL- blah blah blah
Me- So what should be done? (because I hate when someone says something should be done but they don’t have an opinion as to what should be done)
FIL- They should do their job.
Me-What is their job?
FIL- You know, their job.
Me- No, I don’t know. What is their job?
And we went down this rabbit hole for awhile until he got frustrated and hummphed.
While there is a plethora of information available, very few know how to use it properly. People see a headline that they like, and blindly go down the path of misinformation and illogical thoughts. I want to introduce people to if/ then statements, and teach them the meaning of comparison and correlation.
People need to learn how to think. And I say learn, because when I look at social media, I see scant evidence that most people know how to actually think.
What do you think?