Screens everywhere. Small screens, big screens, flat or round, they are there. Easy access to anything imaginable. That can be problem though. Our brains are bombarded with information and misinformation. Misinterpretations, debates, racism, and of course politics, often appear on our media feed, sometimes causing us to plunge into sadness and dissatisfaction. It is inevitable to come across anything that is false.
Gossip spreads like wildfire and so do articles with false information. Because everything is easily accessible, we do not bother to do our own research. Instead, we quickly turn to “Hey, Siri” and take her at her word. Most often than not, Wikipedia will be the first one to give you an answer. So whether it is true or false, that is the least of our worries because whatever we want, we want it now.
Wikipedia has come a long way with providing information to the public. It has always been free, open to the public to read but also open to the people to insert information and edit that information. Data can be tampered with and with just one small misinterpreted detail, someone’s profile or work is misrepresented. Such information is then taken as truth. Therefore, we fail in wanting to dig deeper and fail in finding out reliable information. Laziness has captivated our minds which makes our brains satisfied with the first thing that pops up when we are looking for an answer. We rely on other people’s perception of what is true instead of going on a journey of our own and fighting to discover the root of the fruit.
It is difficult to decipher if what you are presented with is in fact, a fact. Articles, news, posts, anything, can carry a tint of opinion from the author. Words are carefully chosen to say one thing without really stating it. This is when it is up to the reader to decide whether what is written is biased research or not. Though writers and journalists are expected to document facts about certain events instead of adding how they feel towards a subject, one can find it difficult to write about something you are biased towards. Such is the reason of why doing extensive reason is necessary. You want to see both sides of the story. You want to learn the issues that others have towards a topic and why they have those issues.
Seeing other’s point of view not only helps you to gather more information but it helps you as a human being to understand the story behind someone’s point of view, even if you aren’t in accord with what they see. It is actually difficult for me to tell you how to properly begin to do a research. Maybe I could just ask Siri, but then I would only learn so little. If I want to find out about a certain controversy, I type a general statement on Google Search. I give a quick glance at the descriptions or responses I see underneath the headings that pop up. I take precautions because I prefer not to waste my time in reading comments or articles that have difficulty writing sentences that are grammatically correct. So I choose several different websites that are either written from an educational standpoint or from sources that have a trustworthy reputation. You’d have to do your own research to find out which sites those are.
All in all, you will find truth and lies wherever you go. It is always better to know both sides of the story to clear a better idea of the situation. We are living in a generation where information is constantly being fed to us at a rapid rate that our brains don’t have time to register half of it. Our brains only takes in certain parts and we end up with a misrepresentation of the bigger picture. You will always learn better when you do your own research and take your time to check your sources. We need to train our minds and the minds of our young ones to exercise the power that has been given to us as human beings. We have the ability to think and to do and therefore, we have a duty to do what our brains are supposed to do. There is a need for growth and development. There is a need to study and to research and to find out what is true, even if it takes us into a journey of our own.
Written by Teresa Alberto
High school teacher at a private school located in Michigan
Droolees LLC Education Blog Contributor