Monday, September 27, 2010

Is it Really that Hard?

You know, I can kind of understand the spread of half truths, and blatant lies, back in the day before widespread access to the internet. But nowadays, when one can google something and find at least 10 different articles in 5 seconds on one subject from all over the world, from reputable news sources, why do people still just take whatever their favorite radio/TV personality says at face value?

This happened to me a lot during the election, when I would get daily e-mail forwards about some ridiculous story that was patently deceitful and/or made up. It happens especially often on Facebook, and it gets annoying. Lots of my friends on all different sides of the political game comment on things, or post status updates, or provide links that are completely, utterly false, or if not false, they are lying by omission by leaving huge pertinent chunks of the real story out. This isn't just "hey, this is my opinion" or "the way I see it..". No, there is actually a real, truthful story out there in the world, that has been thoroughly reported on by real news agencies, and yet whatever Alex Jones or Rush Limbaugh or Keith Olbermann says about it is somehow the sanctified truth. Those people are very passionate about what they believe in, and way to go First Amendment so they can say whatever they want, but they are ENTERTAINERS. And they are marketing their programs to a specific, targeted demographic. They're going to twist whatever they have to so that their listeners feel patted on the head and justified in thinking about things the way they do.

Folks, fact of the matter is it takes 5 seconds of your life to do a tiny bit of research. Do it. Google that offensive half-of-a-quote, and ta-da! Look at what a big boy or girl you are!! You just found the ENTIRE QUOTE, plus the context in which it was spoken! Aww, how sweet! Look at who found the whole story! Who's a good little media consumer? YOU ARE! You get a gold star.

Seriously. If you are on the internet enough to play Farmville and Mafia Wars, take a little bit of your time to do some pathetically easy research on a topic before you splash it all over Facebook or e-mail it to everyone you know. Because it's just embarrassing when you don't.

No comments:

Post a Comment