Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"I Saw it on the Internet"

Wow... I didn't realize that when you wait so long to post a new blog entry, it would be more difficult to settle on a single topic! My Christmas break came and went in a flash and I'm back to books for another semester. I have found some mysterious small gap in time that is giving me a chance to sit down and write a quick blog for you.

With so many social networking sites around, it is so easy to make use of the information you see for valuable resources. It is also just as easy to be deceived by the information you see. I see it happening more and more, and I have just about exhausted my attempts to turn the deceived to the truth, it's not that difficult after all. All it takes is a random picture and a clever caption.

I used to be one of those easily fooled, and a former co-worker of mine would quickly correct me and turn me in the right direction. It got to a point of embarrassment that I finally learned my lesson to check my resources. Now I just sit back and laugh when I see the same fake picture and caption come around, thinking to myself "Haha! I know better!"

Here are a few of the types of Internet myths I see circulating on a regular basis.

The Celebrity Rant 

These are about the first deceptions I started seeing when I joined Facebook YEARS and YEARS ago. The two, most popular I see are from Ben Stein and George Carlin. These usually come in the form of a letter, and pertain to religion or America, hence the Ben Stein letter titled, "Confessions for the Holidays" and George Carlin's titled, "Bad American". All it takes is a little research on snopes.com to find the entire truth behind both of these. But yet, it will still never fail I will still see these circulate at least once a year, and there will always been that one person to cheer them on.

The 'try it' Photo

Made popular by Pinterest. Geez... I just want to yell at the folks repinning these, "Use your common sense!" All it takes is a little true research. With everyone trying to learn Photoshop, it's so much easier to fool the everyday person. From galaxies in a bottle and food experiments, to exotic homes and DIY decorating. I will admit, I myself have been deceived by a few pins, but all it took was a few more clicks to see how another unsuspecting pinner tried the said experiment... photo... project and failed. Not because they did it wrong, but it was fake in the first place. One mistake I believe most pinners make is not checking their links before repinning. A lot of those fake pins lead to spam, and who wants to follow someone that just posts spam? Here is a good list of Pinterest myths, some of these I have seen circulating longer than Pinterest.

The Un-American President

Oh my word... come election time I literally want to make my presence on Facebook non-existent. Everyone dumbs down or something... I don't know. I do know that I find myself shaking my head a lot and telling myself "Just move on, nothing you can say will change what they think." Most of this started when President Obama ran for president. Maybe it's because when Bush ran for president, social media wasn't as popular and easily accessible as it is now. But when Obama ran for his first term... wow. Ignorance is all I can say. There were so many deceiving pictures circulating with President Obama putting his left hand on his heart, not wearing his flag pin and so forth. My favorite was probably the wrong handed salute. SO many people fell for that one, all it took was a closer look, rather than a glance, to see that photo was mirrored and the wedding bands on Michelle and Barack were very, badly Photoshopped in to make it look like their left hands. There are so many more president myths. Once again, I beg of everyone, PLEASE do your research before you push 'share', 'comment', 'repin', 'retweet'. It's not difficult. Just because so-n-so over there re-whatevered it, doesn't make it true. It makes in an urban legend.

Overall, it boils down to, if it looks too good, sounds too clever, and seems so outrageous, it probably is. Keep yourself from seeming ignorant and take a few extra seconds to research before you repost or leave your own rant in the comment. It is really not that difficult.

Until next time... 'Uhh... Bonjour'

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