Let's Talk Fact Checking

Let's Talk Fact Checking

Why it's important to understand both if something is true, and why it matters.
201
views

I was recently visiting with my grandmother who, thanks to a generous Christmas present, now has an iPad and has become fascinated with the internet. My grandfather, too, recently joined the Information Age, and both of them are getting very much used to navigating this new world. One of the dangers of the internet, which they are slowly beginning to learn, is that all information is out there for the taking, and not all of it is necessarily true. I realized this when, for the fifth time in under three months, my grandmother expressed concern about another everyday household product that Facebook (in all likelihood a secondary site, but she doesn't know the difference) told her would cause cancer. This is, I think, one of the most popular, tired, and mildly extreme examples of the kind of information that can spread easily through social media and the internet in general which, when gone unchecked, can cause unnecessary panic.

Now I know most people who would read this article aren't in her demographic, and for the most part any of my readers are going to think, "well, I know that. I'm not stupid." That's fair, I know you're not, but we can all get caught up in a story, we all let our guards down sometimes, and we take in information without thinking to question it. Not everyone is built to form an argument every time a fact is stated; that would exhaust just about anyone. The trickiest bit is when you're told something on the internet, and it's true; the sources check out, you can find it reiterated, you trust the author, everything seems clear. Even then, though, you need to be careful because, you see, the information can be true but still lacking in the proper context.

My sister, for example, has recently taken to playing Pokemon GO. Shortly after its release, a few media outlets caught on to the clause in their privacy policy which, when read verbatim, can seem terrifying. Writers brought this section to the attention of their readers, and posed questions about the potential risks of offering up quite as much information as you are by playing the game. For those who aren't familiar with this story, the cliffnotes version is that essentially any information connected to the game or your Google account is information that you sign away access to the company Niantic, and Niantic reserves the right to share that information with law enforcement and government agencies as they see fit. Now this can seem pretty scary, and not just because the company is being given a huge amount of oversight with your personal information, but because if they're tracking that information it means that, should the company be hacked, the information is free for the taking. Now, this can seem frightening, and it should. Your private information is an important thing to protect: a lot of Pokemon GO players immediately changed their accounts so that they weren't tied to a Gmail at all, hoping to keep some of their information safer. However, what the articles discussing this privacy agreement don't tend to point out is that all of that information is already out there, and it's already under the control of Google, your Phone Provider, and a number of other companies (not to mention easily accessed via a number of other applications and services). I don't mean to scare you further, I am just looking to put this particular story in a broader perspective. Your new favorite game might be a risk, having a cellphone or using dryer sheets might be dangerous, but realistically, most of the time, these risks are insignificant issues blown out of proportion.

So, all I'm saying is, be careful out there. When you read something, check it, check it again, and really think about what that information can mean for you. You don't have to assume everything on the internet is false, but don't just stop at FactChecker and be content: really take control over your thoughts on every subject. It'll make you feel safer, and more secure in the Information Age.

Cover Image Credit: Kaboom Pics

Popular Right Now

To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

701218
views

To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Stop Texting And Start Making Memories With Your Partner

You'll blink and your time together will be over.

124
views

Technology is taking over our lives in this day and age. People use their phones for every aspect of their lives and they rely on them way more than they should. People act as if their phones are their lifelines.

They set reminders, the play games, track their food and exercise. You name it, you can probably use your phone for it. They have absolutely taken over everything so it's no wonder why people can't seem to take time away from them.

I will be the first to admit that I have an addiction to my cell phone. It is the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I see before I go to sleep. My boyfriend has an addiction to his as well. It's a problem. In any moment of silence, we check our phones or answer texts.

We get so focused on our phones that we will go hours without speaking to each other or making any noise at all. With the already limited time we have to spend together, we really shouldn't be worried about Facebook videos and Snapchat updates.

I hadn't really noticed it was a problem until my boyfriend pointed out that we go days at a time without having a real conversation. I scrolled through our texts and realized he was right.

We had been missing out on weeks of making memories and planning dates because we were too busy being in a committed relationship with our phones instead of each other.

Relationships are about balance and about making an effort to spend time together and make memories. It is about learning about someone so you can fall for them a million times. You can't make memories like that from behind your phone screen.

What happens when your phone dies and you don't have your phone charger? I'll tell you. You're stuck in awkward silence waiting for your partner to get off of their phone.

Or you sit in silence with your partner not knowing what to say or do because you have been treating your phones like lovers instead of each other. That's just painful.

You can't fall in love with your phone and the way that it has grown and changed over the years. Your phone can't hold you when you are sad. It can't take care of you when you are sick. It can't hold your hand in the car or make you laugh. So why choose it to spend time with over your partner?

Do you really want to look back on your relationship years from now and wonder why you don't have any memories? Or wonder why you can't remember anything you've done together?

No. No one wants that. So turn off your phone, put it on silent, hide it away and spend time making memories with the person you love that will last far beyond your phone battery. Trust me, you won't regret it.

Related Content

Facebook Comments