How Important is the Truth?

I have an announcement to make: We have allowed ourselves to be manipulated. Used. Taken advantage of for the purpose of money and/or power. Does this make anyone else angry? It should–we should be furious! But instead we have allowed inflammatory headlines and an addiction to outrage dictate our behavior and drive a wedge between us. We have let other people use our emotions to control us.

Since apparently we need a reminder, listen up. Internet sites get their money from page visits. They don’t care in the least if their headline is remotely truthful. Incendiary, flagrantly offensive headlines get TONS more clicks than calm, metered, truthful language. Their primary goal is to get us incensed enough to think, ‘OMG can you believe so-and-so said such-and-such?’ They know we will click ‘share’ within seconds, and before our heads have had a chance to spin a full 360 degrees, the page has had hundreds of thousands of visits. Flash lesson on internet ad revenue: In most cases, you don’t have to click on the ad to earn money for the page designer. Every single page visit brings revenue.

This post may make some people angry on both sides of the political divide, and probably some who don’t like either side. But I think considering this topic is crucial to healing the rift in our country. I think this is a very grave subject that had a dramatic impact on the process of the election as well as the country’s response to its outcome. I think it’s still having a dramatic effect on the divisiveness and bitterness that continues to linger. So I’ll repeat the question: How important is the truth, to you specifically?

Is the truth important enough to you to take just a few seconds to check and make sure an article is legitimate? Is truth important enough to you to make sure that you read an entire article before sharing? Is it important enough to avoid passing on articles that have deliberately misleading headlines, even if there is a kernel of truth in the article? Is it worth it to find the original story, so that statements or actions are not taken out of context?

I have seen this on all sides (that means you too, third party voters).

Hillary is evil, the devil, the antichrist, the second coming of Hitler. Vote for Trump because he’s not Hillary.

Trump is evil, the devil, the antichrist, the second coming of Hitler. Vote for Hillary because she’s not Trump.

They’re both evil, the devil, the antichrist, the second coming of Hitler. Vote third party, or not at all, because you can’t vote for either one of them.

And I’ve seen all the garbage about all the candidates, ad nauseum. It doesn’t seem to matter how fantastical, how implausible a claim is, you just think to yourself, ‘I wouldn’t put it past them’ and blindly pass it on. And unfortunately it has continued past the election. Can you believe what that group of people is doing, or trying to do? Can you believe Trump appointed this person and they want to try to pass this law? Can you believe Obama/Clinton are trying to undermine Trump? If a headline makes you think, ‘Can you believe…?’ maybe that should be a major clue that you shouldn’t believe it without checking it out.

If you value truth at all, please take the time to make sure you’re proclaiming truth and stop lending legitimacy to lies.

Stop it.

Please, I beg of you, America.

JUST STOP IT.

 

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