People who spend a significant amount of time on the internet have undoubtedly been overwhelmed with information. We now have access to a variety of knowledge thanks to the invention of the World Wide Web. Sadly, not everything is true. Since almost anyone can post something online, there is a lot of misleading, incomplete, and wrong information floating around social media.
Sometimes, sorting out the facts and the fiction about certain situations can be a real challenge. If you’ve been on the internet in the past few years, you’ve probably heard of cancellation or callout posts. They seem to be cropping up more and more, even if they are not entirely true or valuable.
Are there ways that we can avoid them, though, or at least form our own opinions? Of course, there are! Today, I’ll be giving you some pointers on how to parse out the reality from the falsehoods. Stick around if that is something that appeals to you!
Critical Thinking and the Internet
It might not seem relevant to the topic at hand, especially when we are talking about social media posts, but honing this skill is one of the most important things you can do in your life. You can read about that here, https://louisville.edu/ideastoaction/about/criticalthinking/what, for just a bit of background information on why it matters so much.
Obviously, it is not only beneficial for our virtual lives. Whether you are listening to a presentation or reading a book, it can be a boon for you. Interestingly enough, there are plenty of scholarly articles out there that debate whether social media is actually inhibiting our ability to do this.
That being said, there are ways that we can apply this framework to our presence in the virtual world. Namely, it is important to really examine any information we find about how a certain business, company, or person is a scam or a fraud. Given the atmosphere on most platforms today, these are the posts that get the most traction.
That means we really need to be vigilant and consider the motives someone might have for writing that way. Perhaps they were displeased with the service they received, or they could just need to generate more clicks for their blog or web page. Try to read from a variety of perspectives to get a more holistic view of a situation you come across.
As there is no quality control for the material published on the Internet, it is up to us as individuals to determine what is right, wrong, immoral, unlawful, prejudiced, or completely false. This kind of reasoning may be taught and learned. This decision-making process is known as “critical thinking.”
Critical thinking has become more crucial than ever in the age of the internet. We need to apply our critical thinking skills when deciding what to believe online since although the internet makes it easier for anybody to obtain information, such information is not always reliable because anyone may put anything they want into it.
Before we may be influenced by false news or disinformation, we must analyze the sources. This involves assessing the trustworthiness of websites, the author of information, or other media channels to see whether they have reached a consensus on the truth. The information of today may be told from different points of view, but the truth stays the same.
Why the Bad Stuff Gets More Clicks?
We all enjoy a little bit of cheer in our lives. Yet, almost invariably, negative posts gain more traction than positive ones here on the internet. Why is that?
Consider a scenario where you could read about a scandal, or read about how Dev Gadhvi is Not a Scam – which would you be more likely to click on? A lot of us like to think we would go with the latter, but most go for the former. I do have to wonder why, sometimes.
This has really spread into a lot of aspects of our lives. Take political races, for example. Candidates often get more support by making rude comments about their opponents rather than actually giving the positives of their own opinions. There is definitely something going on besides just clickbait.
That being said, I think that clickbait is a large part of it. Clickbait is a headline that tries to get you to click on a link to an article, picture, or video by making it sound interesting. Instead of giving you facts, clickbait headlines often try to get you interested by appealing to your emotions or curiosity. An article that is titled with something totally out there and extreme does seem more interesting on the surface than one offering a more measured approach. However, I urge you to think deeper about the consequences this effect can have.
Again, this does go beyond social media posts. You can read more about it in this article if you want to know. I think that educating ourselves is a huge step in undoing the negative impacts this stuff can have on our lives.
It is easy to overlook, of course, and accept it as a part of existing in online spaces. However, acting against it is far more beneficial to us in the long run. If we do that, there is a higher chance of unlearning these behaviors.
How we feel about the things we read, watch, or listen to can tell us a lot about whether or not they are meant to manipulate us. We should all be wary of videos that provoke immediate, intense, and often unpleasant reactions, such as fear or outrage. These deep and intense emotions should serve as a warning sign. And when these warning signs show up, we should hit pause, step away from the keyboard, and come back to it after we’ve thought of some more questions.
It can not be done by one person alone. We all need to work together to stop feeding into the harmful toxicity of things such as cancel culture. One way to start doing that is to stop following blogs and posters who only share negative content, or at least voice our desire to see more positive things.
Without the views and engagement, there is little motivation to generate content. That is why I suggest this, even if we only do it a little bit at a time