We’re a nation of alarmists - plain and simple. We get hyped up over the smallest things, and it doesn’t take much to throw us into a tizzy. Social media has made this much worse, by allowing people to share their bizarre alarmist ideas, and do so in such an inaccurate fashion it could make your head spin. Every couple of weeks, the latest brouhaha comes along and stirs up the masses, and then the sharing starts and eventually, Facebook users turn into lemmings following each other off the side of a cliff.
There is nothing that can whip other humans into a frenzy like imaginary diseases, identity theft, and big brother. It seems as though every couple of weeks, fellow Facebook users are able to convince their friends that Facebook will legitimately steal your soul. Okay, so not really your soul, but your identity and personal freedom at the very least. Remember the drama that surrounded the Facebook Messenger app? This is what I’m talking about, and your iPhone can do much worse, trust me.
Recently, Facebook exploded with posts claiming that Facebook did not have their permission to use their images, status updates, and other private information. They followed this statement with a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo, and then their post really got to the point of it. The claim was that Facebook was going to start charging people a monthly fee to keep their profiles private. Meanwhile, I’m in front of my computer shaking my darn head.
Honestly, when is this going to stop? Are we going to continue blindly following and reposting stupidity without even attempting to verify it? From what I saw, a lot of people were validating the status by writing “Can’t Hurt…” at the top of it. Yes, yes it can. It hurts the social media managers that then have to assure their clients that Facebook will not be charging for privacy. It hurts my eyes to have to look at it, and I’m getting carpal tunnel from sharing Snopes.com links with people. It also damages the fabric of our society, as countless numbers of atrocious acts have been carried out because of ignorance.
I’m not asking people to stop sharing posts, that’s one of the cool things about Facebook, but if you’re sharing an alarmist post about a dangerous skin reaction caused by a dandruff shampoo, check your sources first. Sharing a post about a caterpillar that causes a terrible skin reaction, and is validated by a national news source is helpful. Opening your audience up to what are essentially urban legends, is not.
Common sense should prevail in situations such as these, but that too, is lacking in our society. Think about it, if a major brand name was causing people to grow insect larvae in their shoulders, wouldn’t we hear about it somewhere other than Facebook? Also, if Facebook were going to start charging to keep people’s stuff private, it would be all over the news, not just in a status shared by Joey Smith from Chicago. Before sharing, think. If that doesn’t work, Snopes is an option.