Monthly Archives: September 2015

Quit being a lemming

When I was a kid I played a game called “Lemmings“. Simply put, you had a group of little beings that you had to get from Point A to Point B on each level, using the special functions of various Lemmings. But they all just followed each other wherever they could – good, bad or indifferent.

Lemmings-BoxScanThe point was, they couldn’t think for themselves. They were the living embodiment of the age-old parental question, “If all of your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?”

Look, whether you believe in God or not, I think we can all agree that we have been created with and given independent thought. We can look at data, analyze it and come to a conclusion, right?

If that’s true then only one question remains: How the hell did Mark Zuckerberg figure out how to unceremoniously remove that ability from our brains the second we get on Facebook? How is that we can interact at home and see the folly in things so clearly, yet when people get online they immediately believe, ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ anything that comes across their news feed?

Listen carefully to what Agent K says here…

Notice what he says about “a person” and “people”? It’s that mob mentality that just because a bunch of people are saying it, it must be true!

I hate to tell you this, but it just ain’t so.

Let’s start with the obvious, or at least what should be obvious: Facebook is not, nor has it ever been a news source.

Yes, some media outlets use Facebook to connect with its readership. They provide stories that appear in your feed, and while they may be a reliable news source it is always a good thing to check them out once in a while when you think something doesn’t sound quite right.

You must question everything!

This particular post is coming after the recent load of crap that the Pope said that the Bible and the Koran are the same thing. Folks, it’s a lie pure and simple.

I’m not a Catholic, but I’ve been around long enough to know when something like sounds fishy as all get out. But just because someone posts a graphic on Facebook and makes a claim, people naturally assume it must be true, or how could it be on Facebook?

Let’s state this again for those not paying attention or for the grossly ignorant: Facebook is not, nor has it ever been a news source.

So how do we know when something posted on the Internet that sounds fishy might not be true? How can we fact check a post or graphic so we know whether or not we should share something to our friends?

Here are three great sites for doing your due diligence and making sure what you share is the truth:

My personal favorite is Snopes, so when I have a question about something like the Pope’s supposed statement on the Bible and the Koran, I head over to the almighty Google and enter “Snopes Pope Bible Koran” in the search bar. Usually in the top two or three lines of the results I’ll find a link to the research that Snopes has done.

If you’re like me and find that someone has posted something untrue, then you quickly copy the link on Snopes in the URL box at the top of your browser and paste it into the ‘comment’ line of the post and hit return.

Willy Wonka lieAn optional snarky reply as to why such nonsense gets posted is completely up to you. Whether or not I include one usually depends on any statements supporting the stupid post or graphic to hopefully get people to rethink their position and get them to fact check their stuff in the future.

It’s your responsibility to get it right. And when someone does post something, regardless of how close you are to them, correct them. As Gallagher once said, “If you let stupid people go around doing stupid things, stupid people think it’s OK.”

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