Check Your Facts! Please?

Why is that so many nimrods loathe being reminded that they are spouting nonsense? “You can choose own opinions, but not your own facts,” goes the old refrain. And with good reason.

Take one minute to verify the claims, stories, and videos you post.  You aren’t required to, of course, but no one is going to simply TELL you when you have crossed the line into absurdity. (No one ever tells me and I cross the line constantly.) It’s the same sort of reasoning that we all use when we are around Dallas Cowboy fans, or even Razorback fans – you just need to have pity for them and go on about your business. They think every season is going to be “the” season and no matter how long you discuss it with them, they aren’t going to come around to logic with you on the issue. It’s the same with people who post crazy.

Joke Intermission!
“Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes.”
― Steve Martin

There are many, many sites and search engines to help you avoid being the object of ridicule or rampant eye-rolling, not to mention that horrible feeling that you are indeed missing a few bolts upstairs when you lash out and get angry when someone offers even a simple “Please check your story,” as politely as is humanly possible. Below is a sample list of places to start…

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If you are “one of those” who insist that every site is run by liberals (or even conservatives, for that matter), the United Nations, or some secret conspiratorial organization, I ask that you use Google, DuckDuckGo or any other search engine of your choice to do even a basic knowledge check of your claims. (And/or add another layer of tin foil to your hat…)If you are getting all your news or information from the same echo chamber of lunacy, please branch out. It will help you recognize nonsense when you read it, much less by the time you post it. No matter what your preferred sources of news and information, don’t limit yourself to a singular source.

You should NEVER become angry when someone asks you to question something you’ve posted as fact. (You can call them an idiot under your breath, in the privacy of your own home, though, because that is just plain old human nature…) Being open to new knowledge is crucial to being a rational, effective member of society. You don’t have to be open to everything, simply have a mind receptive to other viewpoints, especially if presented in a rational, objective manner.

I make this superfluous post in the hope of not having a repeat of this year. A couple of dim bulbs were violently and unimaginatively angry at me and other people on social media because of their unwillingness to do any research, as well as exacerbating the situation by adding vindictive temper tantrums when a mind slightly open to review would have eliminated the display of temperamental antics. If you are going to post that Facebook is going to start charging us, or that you can post a copyright claim on your social media to retain total control of it, or that black helicopters are flying over at night…

This is part of the bargain of social media and social interaction. You can say anything you want, of course. But don’t be surprised when people politely question you – and then flee in terror when you lash out in retribution at them. We are all going to make mistakes and be wrong. Throwing a punch or calling someone a vile name only lessens your ability to communicate with everyone else.

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(If you are going to insult, please do it creatively. I love a creative, interesting insult. The problem is that so many of the crazies only have one arrow in their quiver when it is time to rant. Boring!)
“… you’re nuts but you’re welcome here.”
― Steve Martin