I was taught something very interesting when I was 18. This is what you do. Read the headlines in the papers. Don’t read the content. Now try to make up your own story based on the headline and with whatever understanding you have on the subject. You discover that half the time, your story and the story on the papers don’t tally. Why?
Everyone of us is brought up differently in diverse culture, religion, family background etc. At different stages of life, we look at the things differently. We have our bias and stereotype. So, to pass a judgement based on a single headline is seriously inaccurate.
And this is what’s happening in social media these days. We see some interesting one-liner in Twitter or Facebook, we share without reading the article that follows. And even if we read, we still have our biases. We can still come out with very one-sided views and interpretations.
So what’s the issue here? When we share, first people don’t read and understand. People don’t think neutrally and worst of all, we don’t know what transpires in the mind of the people reading what we share! And this spiral out of control when people continue ‘sharing’, sometimes with their own (twisted?!) thoughts. There are numerous examples everyday that I see. Some we can just laugh about it, but how about those that involves politics, religion, race? The examples I see results in name calling, hatred and other undesirable behaviours over misunderstandings and misinformation!
Some might argue that what we read might also not be true. But it’s beats not looking at the other side of the story and start passing judgements.
My message is simple. Please share responsibly and rationally. Or better still, don’t share. Start by reading, understanding and think critically.