Column: Check your facts before sharing

Cassie Buchman, Associate News Editor

News is everywhere these days. People can access information anywhere at anytime. They can learn what is happening and when it’s happening.

In the 21st century, we have an influx of information never before seen in previous generations.

Even though this is the case, people still walk around ignorant of facts, choosing instead to stay in their own little bubble.

Although the Internet allows people to gain information, in many cases they only choose to stay in a bubble, looking up so-called “facts” that support and reaffirm their own positions on issues.

If you see something on Facebook or Twitter that you disagree with or challenges dearly held beliefs, you can click away.

If a friend or someone you’re following posts an opinion you don’t like, you can unfriend them.

It has never been easier to get information, but on the flipside, it has also never been easier to ignore information one doesn’t care for.

This is why people are seemingly more ignorant in the Internet age; they don’t seek out information that will help them grow as a person.

They seek out whatever facts, pictures or statistics that will make them seem the most right.

One of the biggest problems with this is the fact that a lot of the things posted online to prove a point end up being misleading at best and downright, completely wrong at worst.

Many times, these simple pictures and quotes are not used in context, and just because there are words on someone’s picture does not mean they necessarily said them. It is very easy to just copy and paste text on a picture.

I don’t know if people post these things because they believe they are correct and didn’t bother taking the 10 seconds it takes to Google and fact check what they are sharing, or if they don’t care that they’re wrong and just want to prove a point by any means possible.

To these people I ask, is an opinion really worth having if you have to lie to make it seem credible?

Either way, it makes you look like an idiot to share false information on social media, especially given the fact that it is easy to verify simple facts on various search engines.

There is no penalty for spreading false information online. The Internet police won’t arrest you.

They won’t give you a ticket. In fact, I don’t even think they exist. But your friends and family will judge you, and you will be compromising your online image and your basic integrity. And that, I think, is enough to think twice about what you post, or at the very least check your facts first.

Cassie Buchman is a sophomore journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].