Be Careful What You Believe
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Politics and Activism

Be Careful What You Believe

Don't always take things at face value.

Be Careful What You Believe
Jessie Stemm

We trust people we know; we sometimes trust people we do not know. We trust our teachers, our government (sometimes) and our elders. We trust our peers. In a world of suspicious people, we often do end up believing what we see. We read things on the internet and assume them to be true, and quickly continue to tell our friends. When did we become so lazy that we take things around us at face value? We see an article pop up on our Facebook feed and assume that it is true rather than investigate for ourselves. We trust what is set out in front of us, rather than investigating for ourselves and looking at the facts.

When we are quick to judge and take things at face value, we may be completely missing the truth. It is important to not be so quick to believe what we hear. Especially in the news, many stations are broadcasting with a bias. There is the conservative right and the liberal left, both adding their own twist to a story to work for their agenda. Rarely, if ever, is either side providing the whole truth. The saying that "there are two sides to a story" is true, and usually, the real truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Trust is an important thing -- trusting those whom we love and are close to. We want to trust those around us and all those we meet on a day-to-day basis. The truth is, however, that we do need to be careful about those whom we trust. Therefore, as you go about your day, do not be afraid to listen to others, but take what they say with a grain of salt. When you hear or read about someone's political opinion, or a retelling of an event, look into it for yourself; take the time to research on different sites to read different sides and from them formulate your own opinion.

Problems arise when people are too quick to jump to conclusions about what they see; misunderstandings take place. When we take the time to look at the facts, we protect ourselves from causing accidental and unnecessary arguments. Blindly believing all that we see, especially all that we see on social media, is a dangerous habit to have. Technologies such as cell phones and personal computers have opened up a whole new world of information and window for communication. With this comes the responsibility to check for ourselves the validity of the things that we find and to do so before spreading this information to those around us and possibly playing a part in the sharing of misinformation.

Taking the extra time to verify the information that we happen upon every day is a good way to limit misunderstanding, as well as limit making yourself look silly when you begin spreading information that is false because you took it at face value rather than verifying it. It may sound tedious, annoying and even jaded, but with the speed at which information is shared today, we need to check what we are hearing and not be so naive as to take it at face value. Trust is important, but so is being careful of what others try to have us believe. There are so many wonderful things to learn that are at our fingertips; just be careful to ensure that it is true.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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