The reason alternative facts prevail in this day and age is because we grew tired of reading. We lost our zest to quench our thirst for information, to fact-check what we see or hear, or to understand the full picture of each issue.
For instance, we are content with sharing clickbait headlines online without checking first what the content actually says. Why? Because the headline shares our sentiment and we want to be the first to disseminate the information, never mind if it was false. And if everyone does this, we can be run by people who can program headlines, gradually manipulating the truth in the process.
We have the means—now more than ever—to resist ignorance and foster substance. Let’s stop smart-shaming and focus instead on acquiring knowledge. Came across with an unfamiliar term? Research about it. Your friend used a word you don’t understand? Consult a dictionary. You have a question about an issue you can’t quite comprehend? Ask. Knowledge is our only weapon, especially in these times, for us to survive and live a full life.
We only live once in this world; do we really want to spend it in falsehoods?
Another manifestation of our laziness is our tendency to digest an issue in false dichotomy. If it is not black, it is white—knowing fully well the different hues in the spectrum.
That way of thinking is very easy to wrap our minds around: there’s a pro side and an anti side. If you are not in the pro side, then you are part of the anti. It clears the field so that we know what arguments to throw.
But life is too complicated to be understood in dualities. You can be critical of a person’s actions but still praise his attitude. You can criticize the government and still criticize the opposition. The pitfall in either-or fallacy is the tendency to be not fully aware of all the essential information because we reject those that do not fall in either sides of the issue.
The important thing is not to conclude hastily. If someone contradicts our opinion, we don’t have to assume that that person is supporting the other side just so we can answer his/her argument.
We only live once in this world; do we really want to spend it with just two possibilities?
And let’s admit, the harmful effect of these is exacerbated by internet, especially social media. We have been so dependent on social media that this replaces the way we engage in our social life.
What’s wrong is that our social media personas are not who we really are and yet we treat them like the real person. How we post is interpreted as how we talk; our photos become how we look. Like means admiration, friends means popularity, and posting relationship status online makes it legit.
The online world is created. It is not the real one. Live the life you have and learn new things first hand.
We only live once in this world; do we really want to spend it inside a virtual reality?
Above all, we need to stop the hate. All bad things around us are happening because our hate allowed it. We understood with hate. We argued with hate. We decided with hate. So now, we live in a world of hate.
Hating is so easy. It is so easy to attack the person’s character than answer his/her argument. It is easy to get behind a malicious information if it sides with your sentiment. It is so easy to hate when we are afraid or when we don’t know.
But hating is not healthy. What good does it do if we live in one planet and we hate each other? The more we shout, the less we can listen—the less we can have an opportunity for a substantial discussion. Because only with a meaningful discourse can we solve problems with unity and peace.
We only live once in this world; do we really want to spend it with hate?
What else should we stop doing? Share us your thoughts below!