Reluctance to fact check

Often times we share “news” and “ideas” that we receive online before fact checking. Why?

  1. It is impossible to ascertain what is “right”. What we can google is usually not right, and our preconceptions are already fixed. Eg. we think drinking cold water for girls is no good for their reproductive system. True? We will never know, because the effort taken to prove something is not our forte.
  2. We have already made up our mind. In finding the truth, we have already decided what is right and change is difficult. Changing our minds would imply that we were wrong. And that is a difficult pill to swallow.
fact check before sharing
fact check before sharing

So, what can we do?

  1. Be more open minded. Secretly nod nod nod when others give opinions! I think a society where we open our hearts and listen to alternative viewpoints is a healthy one. Don’t have to agree, but say “Yes, I understand”. And try to understand why people think differently.
  2. Respect. Most forwarded messages are sent by our elders (people our senior). When in doubt, nod nod nod, acknowledge, and refrain from calling bullshit too early (even if it is). Educate, but if the other party does not want to be educated, nod nod nod.

I think tolerance is important, no matter how cherry-picked the “scientific evidences” and “research shows…” articles may be annoying.

I also think the truth is not worth finding out. Let’s just keep it to personal truths. So if you think the world is flat, or lemons cure cancer, keep it to ourselves. A joke once went like: “knowledge is like underwear, you have it but you don’t show it off”.

nod nod nod is the key to a peaceful, misinformed, tolerant world. WE will never move on when we fight “the facts” because truths, are mostly not “universal truths” but personal truths. WE will never find out the truth with the limited time and resource we have.

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