Don’t believe everything you read, on Facebook

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 19, 2018

You won’t believe what I just read on Facebook….”

Each time I hear the preceding statement, I cringe, knowing the “facts” that will follow will prompt me to do a simple online search to ensure the information being passed in conversation is accurate. The sad part is that most of the time the information being relayed is far from true.

I have a family member who thinks that everything he reads on the social media site is spot on, and proceeds to share that information with the world. Each time he does this, I have to consider whether to risk alienating my family member, or ensuring that accurate information is being shared in conversation. At the risk of insulting him, I typically choose the latter because there’s one pet peeve I have; the sharing of “fake news” as though it came from a credible source.

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The rise of the Internet and the access to information it provides is one of my favorite things about our time in history. If I want to learn how to fix something, cook something or how beat a difficult spot in a game, the answer is at my fingertips. But like anything in life, for every accurate piece of information available on the web, there’s an equal amount of what’s called “satire.”

Satire can be fun, so long as you have a sense of humor and can detect the difference between reality, and comedy. For most part, comedy is based on reality, that’s what makes it funny.

But satire may only be loosely based on the truth, with variations of exaggeration or straight out lies. Long story short, if you saw a link on Facebook about someone doing something that incites a negative emotion, scroll to the bottom the website featuring that information, click on the “About Us” link and look for the word “satire” in the site’s description.