Dec 15, 2011

Email Rumors, Social Media, and a Healthy Dose of Skeptism

Abigail and Dolley readers do you remember the world before email?  If you remember that time, then you will also remember the first time you received an email that tampons were giving women cancer, that Nutra Sweet was killing people, and that their were spiders lurking under public toilet seats ready to strike.  Maybe you received an email about a gang initiation with headlight flashing or a prayer request for a cancer patient; in the beginning, we passed them on as true! We typed dire warnings to our friends and colleagues, MUST READ!  There have always been Urban Legends but email made them instantly accessible to everyone and they flew from keystroke to email box with lightening speed.

Eventually though, cooler heads prevailed and sites such as Truth or and Snopes were launched to combat these internet rumors.  You will occasionally still get one via email but not like in those first days of email.  People have become wiser, they are skeptical, and they do their own research.

I think we need to employ this same level of wisdom, skeptism, and research to news stories of the day and specifically to smear pieces put out to destroy one GOP candidate or the other.  Much like when email began, this is our first Presidential election where Social media is coming into play on a big way.  In that regard, we have not yet developed the same level of control we exhibit about hairless cats that turn out to be giant rats that eat your other pets...

Come on people, we need to get a grip here.