Did you know that dogs can fly? Not all dogs, silly. But some dogs can.
How do I know? Did I ever see one fly? Not really. But I heard it from a very good source, and I also read it somewhere. Look for yourself. It’s all over the Internet. I also heard a couple of people talking about it the other day. They seem like smart people…a lot smarter than me. I guess if they believe it, so should I. Right? Just because I haven’t seen dogs fly doesn’t mean they can’t.
When your ears hear one thing, but your eyes see another…use your brain.
Sometimes I am astounded by what people believe. They don’t even attempt to use their brain. If they read something on the Internet or hear a “so-called expert” say something, they treat it as gospel — no questions asked. They don’t even attempt to establish whether it’s true or makes sense. On top of that, the more people who buy into the story the more credible it is — or so they say. They conclude, if friends and colleagues believe something, it must be true. They don’t think they’re smart enough to question things — but maybe they should.
One or many believers don’t determine truth or untruth.
Don’t Believe Everything You Hear — or Read
Unfortunately, there are a lot of folks who don’t even attempt to speak the truth. Some people are biased and tell you part of the story — their side; others substitute opinion for fact. They’re more interested in persuading than informing you. And there are those who benefit personally by leading you astray. Their secret is that they’re getting paid to push the narrative. (Ouch!) You’d think they’d disclose that “minor” fact, but they don’t. SO dishonest!
You’d think it’s obvious that dogs can’t fly, but there are things — equally crazy — that folks believe to be true. It’s not entirely their fault. After all, unscrupulous people know that some folks believe everything they hear or read. They take advantage of their naivety or lack of knowledge. Furthermore, some organizations intentionally try to mislead you. For example, they tell you their side of the story and limit access to opposing viewpoints. Maybe they’re afraid of what you might learn. In addition, some organizations retain “experts” to write favorable articles on topics of their choosing. (Think of it as a fake review.) Even worse, some organizations fund research only if the findings say positive things about them or their products. Last, some media outlets band together to promote a message — knowing full well it’ll appear more credible if it’s reinforced by multiple sources. According to a law of propaganda — often attributed to the Nazi chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels, “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.”
I must confess — dogs can’t fly. I made that story up. Ask yourself why other folks don’t come clean when their accounts are false or misleading. Some people don’t confess because they’re embarrassed and don’t want to admit fault. Others don’t confess because they know full well that they were lying and don’t want to get caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
If they’re not going to be honest and forthright, the responsibility to fact-check information falls on you. If you care about distinguishing truth from untruth, it’s critical to evaluate information based on its accuracy, honesty, objectivity, timeliness, and thoroughness. Consider whether the person delivering the message is in the know — a credible source. Is the information coming from the original source or secondhand? Does the messenger have a personal bias or a vested interest in the outcome? Is the information presented as opinion or fact? Are all sides of the issue objectively covered?
Just because you hear or read something doesn’t mean it’s accurate, honest, or objective. Be a little skeptical. Do your homework. And open your mind to opposing viewpoints. Remember dogs can’t fly, and neither should a lot of the other stuff you hear and read.
Do You Think That Dogs Can Fly?
Please leave a comment and tell us what you think or share it with someone who can benefit from the information.
Protect Yourself from Bad Information
Honesty: The Plain and Simple Truth
23 Ways to Spot a Hypocrite
How to Have a Fresh Perspective
Is It News or Propaganda?
Groupthink: What Makes You Think Others Know Better?
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Ivette Caballero says
Happy and blessed 2022! What a compelling article to read, thank you! I believe that when we are deeply rooted in our values, we can’t be easily persuaded. I personally don’t follow the masses on social media. It’s sad to see how one post, article, or video about tearing someone up can generate more views, shares, and comments than one post, article, video about how to be kind to others. Social media is a great tool if used appropriately.
Research indicates that when social media is abused and mismanaged it can make people dumb, distracted, lazy, envious, angry, lonely, anxious, fearful, and the list goes on and on. According to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted July 13-19, 2020, 64% of Americans say social media have a mostly negative effect on the way things are going in the U.S. today.
Looking forward to reading another of your great articles. Thanks, Ivette K. C.
Frank Sonnenberg says
I hear you, Ivette
How can anyone be expected to make good choices, informed opinions, or sound buying decisions with inaccurate, incomplete, or distorted input.
The key is to scrutinize the information that you receive — evaluating it for accuracy, honesty, objectivity, timeliness, and thoroughness. It also requires you to broaden your horizons, remain open to other peoples’ thoughts and opinions, view things fairly and objectively, and encourage folks to challenge your thinking.
Thanks for taking the time to write.