It has been a while since I felt the need to write about this, but it is time to sit down and share my thoughts about the enormous amount of information that is available online. It may sound a bit like a lecture and somewhat self-righteous but if you choose to continue to read you are forewarned.
I wander far and wide throughout the blogosphere and the Net in general. In my travels I come across sites that promote political thought, education, historical fact, general rhetoric, pornography and more.
I am a seeker of information and I expose myself to quite a bit. Some of the things that I have seen have been quite shocking and at times quite upsetting. I watched the film of Daniel Pearl’s murder. It was a terrible sight, made worse because I have seen so many films it didn’t look real to me. I had to force myself to remember that it was. Or maybe it was just the shock of it all.
After all we grew up in the same area, went to the same high school and even though I never met him it is fair to say that we spent time in some of the same places. If nothing else I can not only claim a common heritage but I came very close to becoming a professional journalist so it was easy to see myself in his shoes.
I watched the video because he was so very alone when he was murdered and in some twisted and perverse way it made me feel like I was there trying to give strength or maybe this is all a lot of B.S. I am not so sure, but I know that this much is true. It upset me terribly.
Above and beyond that video I have come across other items that I found to be terribly distressing, but I dealt with them. I dealt with them in the respect that I processed them and moved on which leads me to the real point.
All too often I think that people set aside their common sense and accept the written word at face value. Too little time is spent considering the validity and legitimacy of what is written. Too little time is spent verifying that the claims made are accurate, that the information that was presented is indeed fact.
And that concerns me because it provides a golden opportunity to engage in manipulation of minds and opinion. It worries me that so many people are willing to shut down their minds and just accept being spoonfed information.
People should get into the habit of confirming information. They should spend a few minutes considering what they are being told and determine if it makes sense. Take a moment to try and verify the claims and use a little common sense.
Educate yourself, you”ll be forever grateful.