As a kid, we used to play a game where 12 of us would line up and, at one end, a kid would come up with a short phrase in his/her head. That person would quietly whisper the phrase to the next person and this would continue to the end of the line. In the end, the last kid would have to say what they heard. 99/100 times they were wrong. Somewhere along the line the message was misheard, misinterpreted, or totally lost in translation.
We live in a world where information is constantly thrown at us at 100 miles an hour and we have to decipher where the information came from, what the source is, whether or not it is opinion or fact, and what the ulterior motives are regarding the information sharing. Social media only elaborates the issue with one sound bite, clip, or article with opinionated commentary. This doesn't serve anyone and we are at a point of negative media saturation.
The important thing we need to observe is whether or not we're separating the facts vs opinions and we're not allowing our beliefs to make the decision for us. We, as humans, tend to seek only information that justifies our beliefs, not challenges us to look at other alternative views.
So, how do we resolve the issue?
- look at the source of the information. If the chocolate factory wrote an article on the health benefits of eating a bag of M&Ms a day you would probably question the validity and the ulterior motive of boosting sales. (I wish this article would be true :))
- Watch or read the entire media piece - sound bites are usually taken out of context and are construed to make someone look bad or misrepresented.
- Social media is not a valid source of media - social media should be used to share your family pictures, cute dogs and kittens, and positive information, not news.
- Look at other news outlets and then derive your own thoughts on the content. Many outlets will try and spin the information based on political or social preferences.
- Don't get sucked into reaffirming your own beliefs by reading and watching the news organizations that only support what you believe. While it may make us feel good, it doesn't allow us to look at other views.
- Finally, facts over opinion.
It's going to be a great weekend. Let's avoid the news and play out in nature. Thank you for reading.