Social Media and the Ready-Made Opinion

In light of recent events around the globe, let me just chip in to say a little something about social media. Not everything you read on there is true. No brainer, I know, but some people don’t know where to draw the line when it comes to believing things. Just because John Doe’s grandmother shared an article on Facebook about how the recent bombings in France were attributed to the Syrian refugees doesn’t make it 100% credible. Do your own research. Find your own facts. Don’t fall for the click-bait, as many of us are prone to doing. Social media is the greatest source of ready-made opinions, and too many people that I know gobble those opinions up and make them their own, without even batting an eye!

Another thing to keep in mind is to not get so wrapped up on what social media is presenting that you forget what’s going on around you. Social media likes to present to us one angle. It’s necessary to step back and look and everything else before making a judgement. Whether you think it’s right or wrong that people are changing their Facebook profile pictures to the colors of the French flag, that’s up to you, but please make that decision for yourself – not just because Aunt Jane from Whoknowswhere made a status update about it 3 hours ago and it popped up on your feed as your most popular post of the day.

“He was no longer quite sure whether anything he had ever thought or felt was truly his own property, or whether his thoughts were merely a common part of the world’s store of ideas which had always existed ready-made and which people only borrowed, like books from a library.”

― Milan Kundera, Life as Elsewhere

Social media is great for keeping up with relatives and old friends, connecting with people from around the world, and also just for general entertainment, but it should never be where you’re getting all of your information for current events. While it’s helpful to scroll through Twitter and see politicians’ tweets on Kenya or Israel right now, there’s more to the story than just that. Go watch the news. Read an article from the New York Times, NPR, or the Washington Post. Yes, sometimes those articles pop up on Facebook and it’s great to see credible editorials on that site, but most of the time I see things like “Betty White Dyes Peacefully in Her Home” and we all know how that turned out. While social media definitely has it’s perks, I’d caution you to make your own decisions during this time of turmoil. Post what you like, but don’t let someone else’s post become your opinion. Think for yourself. 

 

xo Bailey

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