“I get all my news from Facebook and Twitter.”
Oh boy. My head spins when I hear this. Pick up a newspaper.
People, I’m old. I remember when Facebook was just intended for college kids to share all their party photos with one another. Now it’s become the social media that everybody uses. Think about that for a second – you’re now using a website that was intended purely for young adults to spread their Busch Light glamour shots.
Now Facebook has changed and grown by leaps and bounds since the Dark Ages of the early 2000s. For keeping up with people, messaging them or posting photos and life events that are important to you – Facebook works well.
As a news source? Where do I begin? What a train wreck.
Since Facebook has been opened up to everyone, it’s slowly just grown into a collection of chain emails. Remember those?
“If you don’t forward this email, you hate God or something.”
Just scanning my Facebook feed right now, I see:
-Link to website to find Canadian singles to date in case Donald Trump is elected
-Teddy Roosevelt’s views on immigration from 1907 – taken out of context, of course
– Secret fleet of US government trucks shipping nuclear weapons across the country – oh REALLY?
– Chem trails – geez, yes, we’re still talking about chem trails.
– God isn’t in schools so that’s why we’re having school shootings.
– Vote for Bernie because… nope, no real reason given.
– Obama is a saint, Republicans are racist – wait, we can’t criticize the president?
– Somebody saying they’re brave by “supporting law enforcement” by clicking on the “share” button. They’re a “true hero.” They clicked a button. Not the law enforcement officers who stick their lives on the line every single day but this one person who spent .012 seconds clicking “share.”
Now we have memes, links to articles from websites I’m pretty sure are ran by one fat guy with 9,000 Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump bumper stickers attached to the back of his Honda and outrage. Lots and lots of outrage.
Here’s the problem: I’ve seen on my Facebook feed over and over stories and information that is shared on there that isn’t true. Not even close. Obama is going to cancel the National Day of Prayer? Sorry, I was at the National Day of Prayer Ceremony in Chewelah. Didn’t happen.
So before you click that “share” button – do yourself a favor. Open up another tab in your browser, then google search to see if it’s true or not. You’ll find out the majority of things shared on Facebook are about as non-fictional as the Lord of the Rings.
(Although I hear Frodo was an ISIS agent)
You know those people that go around the community gossiping with impunity about things they know nothing about? Yeah you know those people. Yeah, everybody is like that on Facebook.
For people that constantly say they don’t trust the mainstream media, it shocks me the websites they trust for their worldview is obamaisatanbentondestroyingamerica.com or trumpwillcausetheendoftheearthifheselected.net. Come on! I know the mainstream media has its problems, but compared to these websites, they’re more solid than the Rosetta Stone.
Mainstream journalists went to college for this. They have been doing this for years. Their job is to find sources, get information and – here’s the thing your clever Facebook meme about Michelle Obama’s hatred for the pledge of allegiance doesn’t do – these journalists fact check because their livelihood depends on it.
The internet has created a terrible echo chamber, where people don’t look at information that might challenge their views on the world. It’s become “us vs. them” and that kind of mindset is not going to solve any of the issues currently facing our community, state, country and planet. If our woldview is warped to begin with, how are we going to figure things out?
So, please, stop sharing those things on Facebook, without thinking first.