Why Google Is Your Best Friend

Why Google Is Your Best Friend

All. You. Have. To. Do. Is. Ask. Her.
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There's been a startling trend on social media as of recent. The dissemination of misinformation and the promotion of skewed, outdated, and simply irrelevant information has kicked into high gear. 2015 has been full of socially and politically charged situations; and social media has been at the forefront of pumping out information at an unprecedented rate.

Social media has been critical for movements such as the Arab Spring, but it's equally dangerous as it is advantageous.

The internet can be a museum of social media blunders, leading to gems such as our friend Eric's celebrity slip up:

(source: http://pandafeed.net/tag/social-media-fails/)

We laugh, we share it, our friends laugh, they share it, a hearty good time all around. But our entertainment has been replaced with a rampant sense of dread and false judgement when posts like these show up on our newsfeeds:


(source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/gamergate-photoshopped-a-canadian-sikh-man-to-make-him-seem)

The above image is a photoshopped picture of Veerender Jubal, critic of GamerGate, who had a picture of him photoshopped to have the supposed Qur'an, dildo (really?), and suicide bomb vest in the image. It made him out to be an Islamic State member who participated in the Paris Attacks last month. It was actually a picture of him taking a selfie with a regular iPad, without the suicide bomb vest, Qur'an, and dildo (really, again?). Thankfully, this picture drew skepticism from social media users, who were able to debunk this myth.

However, the fact that this image had already made rounds on the internet, and people fell for this sensationalized mess, tells an alarming tale about the presence of misinformation on social media; and its ability to fuel ignorance. Too many times, people have fallen for horribly captioned pictures on Facebook, and before even stopping to consider the validity of said image, have already clicked the "Share" button. This epidemic capitalizes a developmental issue when it comes to this socially charged environment. Those who are anxious and fearful in crisis situations are easy targets to be swayed by bigoted posts, many of which are obviously doctored to skew people's perception of what is actually happening. Take this image that equates victims of the refugee crisis to M&Ms and considers them possible terrorists

(source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-21/syrian-refugee-situation-summed-using-mms)

This image, or similar analogies, have spread like wildfire across virtually all social media platforms, gathering thousands of retweets, favorites, and shares.

Why is it that our fanatical obsession with shock value has made us refuse to even do the slightest bit of research? How has exorbitant amounts of incorrect material become so popular?


1. The Mediums We Use to Share Our Stories Have Evolved.

The number of platforms to share information has increased exponentially. We are able to pick from a pool of websites such as Medium, Mashable, and Vice, to generate and share content.


2. Fear + Ignorance + Internet = Content Frenzy.

It's incredible how much ignorance can be spewed just by capitalizing on fear. The aforementioned image on refugees and M&Ms is a clear example of xenophobia working overtime, using fear mongering to reduce populations to mere clickbait.


3. Competitive Internet Arena Leads to The Spread of Inauthentic Media.

Simply telling consumers to purchase something no longer works. Businesses, organizations, companies, and the like are using the ubiquitous power of social media to sway the interests of consumers. This competitive market becomes a race, and often times, those who make it to the finish line of having their article shared the most does so with poor quality.


THIS NOT TO PUT DOWN SOCIAL MEDIA!

Social media is a powerful tool, and we must give credit where credit is due. The amount of information stored on massive sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, has made it a cookie jar of content. Movements have been, are being, and will be formed, from social media, but the excessive sharing of poor quality content has lead to the promotion of fear, the reduction of value and the poor competency of shared data.

This is especially true when sites and posts use attention grabbing headlines to generate traffic, otherwise known as "Clickbait." There is no explicit distinction between old content and new content, leading to this hysteria.

So, what can we do?

Well, if you don't know, you have a friend and didn't even know it yet. Her name is...


(source: http://gizmodo.com/serifs-had-it-coming-1728015048)

See. Our girl Google is the most powerful person on the internet. She is an omniscient being whose knowledge only continues to grow every second. Her ability to find anything and everything should be heralded as godlike.

And be used to stop misinformation.

The many times I've found a particularly suspicious post on social media that was debunked by Google is incalculable at this point. She has been fighting a long battle against ignorance, but she will not be stopped. if you don't know, this is how our girl Google can help YOU.


1. Distinguishing Incorrect Information.

Google doesn't play games. She doesn't break down her links into clickbait just to appease you, nor does she incorporate images that will sway your perception. She gives you facts, backed with data, statistics, graphs, images... She is the reference librarian you need, without having to register for a paid service.

2. She Will Help You in Arguments.

Have you found yourself in the middle of a 50 comment argument with someone over White Privilege? Google is such an amazing and supportive person. With those aforementioned statistics, data, and facts, she will lend you a helping hand in exercising your moral responsibility to call people out. Just hit ctrl+c on the link, then hit ctrl+v, and she will lay your facts out like freshly scented bed sheets.

3. Google is a Beacon of Inspiration.

Surrounded by nothing but links about why Planned Parenthood is a crime of the century? Google knows your frustration as you smash all your keys to respond to each and every single person with an APA-cited essay followed with clear shade in the conclusion. However, instead of engaging every one, which becomes incredibly exhausting, take the road less traveled and share a factually-based article which sheds light on some of the situation.


You can fulfill all three steps just by asking her. Google is right there, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. She will never let you down, or make you feel like you're inconveniencing her with your wish to dismantle ignorance. If you can share a picture about why Obama is the supposed test tube baby of Karl Marx and ISIS (really?), then you can ask Google. She won't judge you.

Google has a cousin, and his name is...

(source: http://www.snopes.com/)

He's more straight to the point.

Cover Image Credit: IsagenixHealth

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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When Words Are Not Enough

Sometimes you just need to be.

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Life is a roller-coaster of ups and downs. We all desire easy fruitful lives where no one ever dies and no one ever leaves. Instead, we suffer through hardships and great trials that test our faith. These conflicts often leave us worn down and feeling helpless. This is the time when words become a languid breeze, going through one ear and out the other. This is what you should do when words are not enough to satiate the pain you hold in trembling hands.

Focus all your energy into just being. No one expects you to get over the tragedy that occurred in your life, so don't force yourself. Just eat, breathe, and sleep until you feel up to doing normal tasks. Whatever circumstance that has stolen your breath and turned your life upside down won't go a week in a couple of days or a week. Wounds like yours don't go away instantly; instead, they take time and nurturing. Sometimes it's best to keep a sore covered but in some circumstances, know that seeing someone is okay.

These tragedies you face are real, and they try to break down the very substances that make you who you are. Counselors and therapists can help you make sense of the burden you carry. There are many reasons why you might be hesitant to see a therapist, but if the burden you carry becomes too much, a therapist can help you lighten that load.

Know that what you are going through is real and it is tough, but you will make it out on top. You are a survivor and a success story. Every single bad thing that has tried to tear you down hasn't succeeded, and this will be no different. Trust me, your story is not over.

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