One of the things that I’ve become aware of more recently, and I’m guilty at times of this myself, is a distinct lack of fact-checking of online content. These articles almost always have a catchy must-read title. The content will be peppered with true statements that are intended to lead you to a particular conclusion that if taken as a whole simply aren’t true. I read an article this morning about a new archeological find that boasted it showed the earliest records point to Jesus as being considered a magician. this statement then became conflated and transformed into Gnosticism as being the early Occult version of Christianity with Jesus being an early practicing White Magician. This is just simply not true on its face. This is just one of many examples of what I mean. The majority of articles I see posted online that do this are of course Political in nature. Trumping (yes tongue in cheek here) to point one in a particular direction. The facts in these articles are what I like to call “loose and fast” meaning they aren’t really facts but could be.
Why I am writing about this now? I’m glad you asked. The last three-plus years have been difficult at best. Partisanship is at an all-time high, at least it feels that way to me. Friends and family can’t seem to have civil conversations about our government, politics, the direction of our country without it quickly devolving into pettiness and name-calling. I know I can’t be the only one frustrated by this. I can’t be the only one that wants to find a way for us as a whole to be able to talk with each other and listen, not necessarily agree, just listen. by listen I mean really listen, not listen until you can insert your view into the conversation which is what it seems to have come to in a lot of cases. If we were able to have conversations with those whose views are different then ours, we may just learn something not just about what makes the other person tick but about ourselves and why we think our view is a better way to go.
What does all of this have to do with how I started this article? Besides actively listening, trying to see things from someone else’s point of view. I think it would be really helpful to watch what we post. Is the source a reliable one? even if it is a reliable one are the contents fact-based and truthful or do they play fast and loose with facts. Is it incendiary in nature? designed to start fights or make someone angry? If it is any of these things, I won’t be posting them. I have I’m sure been guilty of these things in the past. Going forward I will try my best to screen my articles for truthfulness and information. This is not to say that I’m not going to post political cartoons or articles that I think are worth a read. As most of you who know me outside of the social media realm know, I love hearing points of view that I don’t agree with. It fascinates me to learn WHY someone thinks in some cases so differently than I do about the very same topic. In the end, I’m just saying “Can’t we all just get along”.