Are you a part of the Age of Misinformation?

Thinking it through

Have you ever searched for the answer to a nagging question? Now, think, searching on the internet. Ah, you think you’ve found just the right article with just the answer you need. Then one of two things happens:

  • You give this ingenious answer a try only to find out that the person who wrote the article knew absolutely nothing about the topic. Whatever you did flopped, or worse yet, it created a different problem because the answer giver didn’t think the whole solution through. Or . . .
  • In reading the article you begin to click on link after link. And an hour or so later, you think, “What happened to the time? How did I get lost in reading article after article?”

Why do we do that?!

Believe me I’ve read my share of articles on the internet, listened to my share of webinars, and clicked through more links than I care to think about.

Technology has brought us the Age of Information, but I prefer to call it the Age of Misinformation.

Why are we so quick to look for answers from people we don’t even know, from people who may or may not know what they are talking about?  That exact mindset is why spam and scams are so prevalent.

We click on a blog and voila! we buy into whatever is being said with little regard for the correctness or the completeness of the information.

I suppose the (mis)information that pushed me over the edge was the marshmallow in the brown sugar hack. Now, maybe the marshmallow does keep the brown sugar from drying out. (I’m simply not going to even try it.) But who wants to buy a bag of marshmallows to have one for the brown sugar? How long will  that marshmallow last? And what if it fails and you don’t realize it, and then your brown sugar drys out anyway?

But even if the marshmallow works, it’s more like a band-aid. Why not just go to the root of the issue of what dries out the brown sugar and correct that? Finding the root problem would mean that someone would actually have to think through the problem to find the correct answer. But instead we spend time and money experimenting with . . .  marshmallows. Really? Someone has time for that?

And don’t even get me started on nutrition information!

If someone from somewhere with somewhat of a knowledge of a topic says it, we do it. I can hear my mother saying, “If Susie jumps off a bridge, are you going to jump off of one too?”

And the information age answer to that question is “Yes,” and off we jump.

Is this a call for abandoning internet information? No. Is this a call to never try other people’s solution to a common problem? No.

It is a call to think on the part of the consumer. And it is a call for integrity to us information sharers.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Are you a part of the Age of Misinformation?

  1. And how about those folks who spew off facts and when you question them they say, “I read it on the internet” as if “the internet” was an actual resource in itself? Or those who repost stupid stuff like “If you share this Bill Gates will send you $1000” with the comment “It couldn’t hurt” as if that makes them look any less gullible… Yeah, don’t get me started!