Dear Facebook user,
Please stop being so gullible. Please check what you read on social media before sharing on social media. In fact, please read beyond the headline before sharing.
According to Pew Internet Research, 62 percent of American adults get their news from their social media news feeds. It looks like 62 percent of them believe everything they see. Note I did not say read. In a rush to post the OMG headline to family and friends, we expose our vulnerability. We don’t look informed. We expose our laziness through our lack of exercising due diligence.
Here are some for instances:
- Obama didn’t ban the Pledge of Allegiance from U.S.public schools or anywhere else for that matter.
- You can’t find out who searched for you on Facebook. Facebook is not and will never be LinkedIn.
- You never have to share and cite a bogus legal statute so that your content on Facebook remains private.
- Facebook will never charge you for signing up or using their platform.
- George Carlin probably didn’t say it. It’s doubtful that Albert Einstein, John Lennon or Robin Williams said it either.
- If you are asked to type in something and watch what happens, nothing does. Ever. Comments don’t work that way except to collect and expose the names of gullible people.
- The Onion and many other websites are satire.
- Honeybees are not on the extinct list.
- Snopes does a good job with debunking rumors. Unless they debunk a rumor about a politician you dislike. Then Snopes can’t be trusted. So by all means, charge your phone in the microwave and clean your DSLR lenses in soapy water. Snopes says these are false, but what does Snopes know? They debunked that whole Obama bans the Pledge of Allegiance rumor thingy.
- Still hate Snopes? Fine. Google it. Google everything.
- People believe their peers over science. This is disturbing.
- ABCnews.com.co is not ABC News.
- If a celebrity death appears on Facebook,verify before sharing. Morgan Freeman and Willie Nelson have died many times on Facebook.
- Unless the page has a blue check indicating a verified page, no one is giving away Range Rovers, RVs, Disney goodie boxes or vacations getaways. There are some legitimate contests on Facebook, but this rule generally applies: No blue checkie no truthie.
- Most of the games and giggle tests on Facebook, such as “Find out the initials of your Guardian Angel” ( a new one I’ve seen), are examples of fun to share ditties that require an app, and which lets the developers of that app see all your personal and private data. Be very careful what apps you download from Facebook.
- Many weather-related photos are Photoshopped, particularly tornadoes.
If “OMG” or “You won’t believe…” appears in the headline, it is a BIG clue what follows is total B.S.
Cultivating one’s personal brand now includes what a person posts and shares on social media. Your brand is directly linked to your content delivered under your name or handle. Respectability, trust and integrity come with posting materials and content that is verified and vetted. Take everything you read with a grain of salt. Look before you leap on social media and take a few seconds of due diligence before hitting that share button.