I was listening to a social media expert this week and they were saying that “everyone is now looking to social* for their information, people are moving away from the long time media channels for what is happening in the world.”
This reminded me of an expression we used to say “It must be true, it’s on the cover of New Idea/Telegraph/ some other publication” and this meant that it couldn’t possible be true because of the publication. New Idea and Telegraph etc were well known to exaggerate the truth.
So now when I hear “everyone is heading to social* to find out what is going on in the world” this makes me question how is the average person going to be able to differentiate between truth and fiction or exaggeration?
As a business coach, I see a lot of businesses spending a lot of their time and energy and money on posting content on social*. Much of it is recycled content. I do it myself some times, I curate and share content that I believe is interesting and informative content to share with you.
I also really enjoy creating original content about topics you ask me about, questions you ask. There are many others who also create wonderful original content. At the end of the day however, most of the content being posted is opinion.
Huffington post and New York Times have people who are Fact Checkers. These are people who check whether the story, the article that is being published is true, is factual.
Most of social* has no fact checking system. I do feel some concern – not about the cat videos and the fun or inspirational quotes which I sometimes believe is the real reason the internet and Facebook were invented.
I do feel some concern about some of the opinions and comments that create good and bad, that emphasise something or someone is “like us” or “not like us”. And some of these opinion pieces end up going viral and stir up fear and hatred based on opinion and not necessarily on facts.
We turn to Google to answer our questions “It must be true, Google told me”
Why is this important? It’s important because we need to be able to be discerning about what is factually true as it relates to ourselves and our businesses and be able to question whether some thing is an opinion that may or may not be true.
In a library you know which books are the fiction and which are the non-fiction. The internet and all the social* don’t really have a way to differentiate between Fact and fiction or opinion.
When you are reading something on social* maybe just take a moment to consider whether it is actually true and therefore useful for you and your business. Or is it opinion that may or may not serve you and your business in the way that takes you to where you and your business want to go.
What are your thoughts about this? Please email at info@healthynumbers and let me now.
*Social is now the one word for Social Media
I’m Ingrid Thompson and thank you for reading this post.
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