To believe or not to believe…that is the question.

By: Brittany Melo @MeloBrittany

I think we can all agree that we have experienced some sort of rumor mill that started as a miscommunication and snowballed into something far from the truth. This same kind of mentality can be attributed to some of the posts found on social media sources. Basically what I am trying to say is that not everything we see on social media is 100% true. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of reading materials posted online and other forms of media are from credible sources, but that does not mean that you should stop there and immediately believe what you read.

I have personally experienced instances where I believed the first article, blog post or tweet that I have read and relayed the information to others, only to discover that the initial source was incorrect – leaving me a little embarrassed that I had not done more research on the topic. This leaves me with the discussion of when should we know what to believe and where should we get our information from? This is a little bit tricky because there is not one set in stone golden rule when it comes to receiving credible and correct information.

To alleviate the stress of distributing false information, here are some precautionary measures to ensure that you are distributing safely:

  1. Do your research. These three words have become all too familiar dating back to high school years when research was the premise of projects and papers. This also applies to everyday life when coming across any sort of new information. Doing research cross-analyzes multiple sources of information and helps you come to the correct conclusion.
  2. Do not believe the first thing you read. Despite coming from a credible source, there are still implications with just relying on one source. Biases and shareholders can play a large part in how the information is relayed.
  3. Trust your gut. Be sure to take into consideration that not all news and information sources are completely true. Trust your instincts before you distribute the information under your own name.

Sorry if I scared you out of reading the next Buzzfeed article that comes on your newsfeed (I’m still a sucker for reading those daily). Just remember to be a smart information distributor and to always do your research!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

This Article Has 1 Comment
  1. Cydney Chelberg says:

    Brittany,

    Thank you so much for writing this!

    I have definitely experienced the emotions of relaying information to others only to find out that the information was fake. I remember at the start of my time in the J school, professors always warned me to do my research but to be honest the idea of that stressed me out. After being mislead by false news, I put into practice researching more and now I find myself actually enjoying it and looking forward to reading about news from multiple sources and comparing them. Must be #lifeasajstudent in action, but like you, I am a strong believer that everyone should go on social media with a critical eye!

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