How do we get to the truth when we live in a world of sound bites, tweets and facebook posts that can spread lies around the globe in minutes? We can polarize millions and cause action and reaction with one click of the share button.
When you are of a certain age (i.e old like me) you find this fascinating. I grew up in a world without cell phones, without email, with televisions having only three channels (and these three could only be watched on a television set). We can certainly argue this has led to a smaller, more informed world. But what happens when these tools are used to spread propaganda, mistruths and outright lies?
The latest example has been this week with the spreading of the terrible mistreatment of immigrant children who have illegally crossed our southern borders and are being held in cages, separated from their parents, living in hellish conditions. We have all seen the pictures, especially the one of the crying little girl whose mother was forcefully torn away to be shipped off, leaving her to be placed in one of these cages all alone. This picture was so terrible it was used on a Facebook page in order to raise money for a non-profit wanting to provide legal aid for these poor children. A photoshopped copy of this picture has even made the cover of the most esteemed magazine, Time (read Times backtrack here). The outrage and backlash from this and other similar pictures caused President Trump to change the way we deal with these children. In fact, so terrible it caused a heretofore unbiased journalist to cry on her national news program to cry, live, on television in front of her hundreds of viewers.
There is just one little problem, this picture wasn’t about what it was depicted to be. The mother was not taken away in handcuffs from her child. She wasn’t even taken away, not for one minute. She was being detained because she was caught illegally crossing the border and she needed to be searched for weapons. But then the mainstream media has neglected to tell us this and have still not retracted any of this false narrative.
But then this is the world we live in. A world controlled by people with their own agendas. Whether it is only one side spreading this agenda is open to debate, as is exactly what the agenda is. There is no unbiased reporting, journalists today no longer report the facts, they report opinions as fact. They report lies as truth and the sad thing is they believe their own lies. No longer is the truth important but how many shares, likes and retweets they get. There is no civility, no rational thought, no politeness.
The question becomes how can we reverse this? How can we spread the truth, whatever that may be? My grandmother used to say “Once you tell a lie you can’t take it back.” She also used to say “if you cross your eyes they will stay that way” and I don’t see a whole lot of people with crossed eyes. When those who are shouting the loudest and spreading the lies, who will hear those who speak the truth? Who will hear those voices crying in the wilderness?
Okay, now using the buttons below, like, share and tweet this. (See what I did there?)