We've all seen the headlines with big scary buzzwords. "Fake News", "Russian Hacking", "FaceBook Selling Data", but why do these scare us so much? These things that we are told are breaking down our precious democracy, voiding our elections and ruining this great country - and potentially - they are.
But how could they? Is there anything that we can do to protect ourselves from false statements, and deliberate disinformation that sometimes comes from halfway around the world? The answer is to stay informed. We are all intrigued and sometimes swept away by social media articles echoing our belief, and this is why we are allowed to be swayed so far in one way or the other. Without knowledge and inspection, information (in particularly FALSE information) can be a devastating tool to those who are truly trying to do what is right.
Even current outlets that truly mean well, need to be scrutinized, due to the polarization of our political beliefs. Reading a story from just one side only gives you half of the full story. Unless you actively work against the biases that are present in mass media, you are bound to fall into the trap of believing what other people are telling you to, which is, in fact, the death of democracy.
This is the biggest threat to a truly free democracy, following what people tell us to instead of our own true beliefs. The whole point of voting is to choose for YOU. Not what the head of NBC, Fox, or MSNBC would want. Not what the head of the DNC or RNC would want either. This is the true manipulative fear that is very real in our lives. The death of democracy will not happen by some big overthrow of the system, but rather the control of how we think, by playing on our emotions, biases and preconceived notions, throwing us into the fire of our destruction by our own hand.
Read for yourself, think for yourself and ask questions, and you will have done your large part in helping save your country from the loss of its agency.