Friday, August 28, 2015

Social Media And Idiots: A Dangerous Combination.

Social media has made it really simple for people to spread their stupidity. Before websites like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter ever existed, internet users had to actually research their data and verify its authenticity. Remember meta-crawlers and digital editions of encyclopedias? Those were in high demand between ten and twenty years ago. If you wanted to know about a particular person, place or event, you had to look it up for yourself.

Nowadays, any jackass with an internet connection or mobile device can make up whatever lie they want, then post it to their Facebook wall. Lies and disinformation can spread like a virus, with other internet users helping to spread the deception. Without so much as a single ounce of due diligence, morons will post any fabrication that suits their particular religious or political slant. Who cares about honesty, right? It's all about making reality fit your narrative.

The scary part? Foolish dopes regularly share incorrect information via social media and don't even realize it's false. They're that bloody stupid.

I realize that not everyone is a journalist. Hell, I don't expect most internet users to have half a brain cell. Yet, the least you can do is uphold your own sense of honor and integrity, both in the real world and online. If you share a comment or factoid with other internet users, shouldn't you make damn sure that it's the truth first?

Obviously, I'm asking too much. Why verify any information? It doesn't matter. So what if it's not true? It's just the internet! Newflash -- the real world and the internet are not two separate entities. They are one in the same. This is why I don't maintain anonymity on the internet. If I've got something to say, then I'm going to stand behind it. Why hide behind illusions and falsehoods? Integrity and honor are important to me, as they should be to you.

So... the next time you want to share some bit of "information" with the other morons connected to your social media account, ask yourself the following questions:

To the best of my knowledge, is this the truth? Did I verify this information? Do I stand behind this information? Am I accountable for what I'm about to say?

If you can't answer yes to all four of those questions, then reconsider what you're about to share with the other lemmings of this world. One idiot with the wrong map can send a lot of people over a cliff.

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