The Internet Is Full of Sh!t: Don’t Fall for It!

I have friends that buy into conspiracy theories. According to them, George Floyd isn’t dead, mass shootings are staged, commercial jets are spraying chemicals to manipulate the weather, there is no such thing as COVID-19, and the Earth is flat.

I shit you not. At least one good friend and my brother believe most of this stuff. Every time a major event happens they claim the traditional news media is lying and find obscure blogs and Youtube channels to help create the worldview they want to believe.

I’m pretty open minded. I’m willing to consider alternative explanations of events. I still question 9/11. But when every major news event becomes a preplanned strategy to undermine one political party or the other, I have to call it out. There’s a pattern. Some people fall for anything and everything.

The Internet Is Full of Fake Sh*t!

I get it. We can’t be sure the mainstream media is being completely honest and accurate. Still, I find a New York Times journalist with a higher education in journalism much more credible that some random dude running a YouTube channel out of his basement. Call me naive if you want.

People will tell you “the media is liberal.” So where did they learn that bit of information? You guessed it: from the media. Here’s the deal. There is no traditional news media anymore. There is just shitloads of digital information. Much of that information is propaganda, disinformation, and deepfake bullshit. Quite frankly, I’m not sure we can believe anything we find on the Internet.

However, we can use our critical thinking skills to make reasonable judgments about what information is more likely to be true. Check out these articles to further understand critical thinking:

They Say I’m Brainwashed

Whenever I question people who believe in conspiracy theories, they tell me I’m brainwashed. They claim I’ve fallen for the liberal agenda, whatever that is? But I don’t even consider myself a true liberal. I see flaws in both of our major political parties and tend to identify more with libertarianism than any other political party these days.

Have you ever heard the old saying about pointing the finger at someone? When you point the finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you.

As someone who both experienced being a child victim of a cult, and studied cults in grad school, I have to say that people who buy into multiple conspiracy theories are like cult members. They need explanations for the unexplainable. When they find those explanations in the form of conspiracies they feel as if they have obtained privileged knowledge. In essence, they become followers.

If You Can’t Think Critically, Turn It Off

Here’s my simple advice. Stop reading and watching information that comes from unreliable sources. Instead, read a variety of information from a variety of credible sources and make contrasts and comparisons. Use your critical-thinking skills and your better judgment.

If you still find yourself falling for every conspiracy theory that comes along, just turn off all the information for awhile. Get back to Earth. Take a walk. Just be careful not to walk too far or you might fall off the edge.