Today's Special

Social Media – A Lesson Learned

Recently I read some research findings about misinformation on social media.

I previously thought that when we read or hear bullshit and don’t express our doubts right then and there, the person who shared it goes away thinking; “She didn’t question it; she probably agrees.”

Which reinforces their own belief.

I figured maybe it was time to stop keeping quiet and instead respectfully offer an honest response, and maybe it would be helpful to do the same thing on social media if one could be bothered.

But when it comes to social media, the research found that even commenting upon a post (let alone sharing it), in order to disagree or debunk it, only serves to spread the misinformation even more. Why is this?

Because your social media connections will see the original misleading post but not necessarily your response. They’ll assume you shared it because you believed it and/or agreed, and they’ll share or like it without dipping further into the discussion. And on it goes.

By responding in any way (other than, perhaps, reporting misleading posts to the server), you have effectively participated in spreading the BS even more.

Apparently social media posts that provoke anxiety, fear or anger are shared the most … and that is the whole point of them.

Before commenting or sharing something you see on social media, take a breath and notice if you are feeling any of the above: anxiety, fear, anger. This is often the original poster’s intention, in hopes of getting as many likes and shares and comments as possible.

Think about holding back that trigger finger of yours.

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2 thoughts on “Social Media – A Lesson Learned

  1. I am very particular about who I follow on social media, and who I allow to post comments on my posts. I quit lots of folk during the Trump administration because I just couldn’t take the vitriol that came from the insane comments.

    Liked by 1 person

Speak to me, dahlink.

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