Monday, October 12, 2009

Bench Talk: Information Overload - What's Real?

Today, the general population worldwide has access to information. We have the media speaking to us as well as public opinion available on the 'World wide Web'. Anyone these days can publish anything, good or bad.

With so much information available, how do we distinguish what is fact from fiction?

Hi all! I agree we are blasted with all sorts of speculation and I find it interesting how one small opinion spoken can at times become international news. Are we so hungry for 'news' that we will listen to any small bit and react? What happened to in depth reporting and values? (Sunshine) I am amazed at what great impact people like Oprah have on society. She speaks and the public follows. Not all the public, I am not a watcher of Oprah unless I can remember to watch the one show a year where she gives away lots of free stuff. I do like that one. I am sure Oprah on a personal level is a very nice women but I don't need to know everything about her or her causes.

I surf the web and I am also on 'facebook'. It's interesting the tidbits that get shared from one friend to another. I, myself, will get caught up in a cause without knowing the origin. I have to remind myself not to get 'up in arms' over snippets of opinions. There is so much information that comes through my e-mail from various people. Much of it is junk but it can also be interesting and entertaining. I have one friend who sends me about 7 junk type e-mails a day. Who is sitting there figuring all of this out and creating it and sending it out anyways?

You are all wondering where this topic is coming from. Well, I have been caught now in two instances where I have shared information on 'facebook' because I reacted to it and at first glance agreed with the popular opinion and felt 'duty bound' to pass it on! I would then get feedback from friends, both agreeing and disagreeing with the snippet of information. Some of my friends would even back up their opinions with more snippets of information.
I join no groups or sign my name to no causes. I am not interested in what others cause's are specially if they feel the need to advertise it to the general public nor do I want others to know my latest interest. If you are really interested in a cause then let your actions speak for you. Joining a cause specially on social networks like FB don't mean a thing. And remember schools, and potential employers are checking out profiles before they make decisions on accepting or hiring people. Don't get me wrong I like FB for the interaction with friends and family and the sharing of pictures. I find a feel a little closer to family who live on the other side of the country and we can interact as if we are close by.

Who is right?

I will not tell you what these 'snippets' were about, however, one of the bits has intrigued me enough to look into it deeper and if I find factual validation I think I will post it. I will give you just a hint. It has to do with corporate hypocrisy, ie: the public see one image promoted, however, there is a dark side! Isn't there always a dark side? Does it really all come down to the 'almighty dollar'? Is that the subliminal advertising that is always talked about? How about those records that they use to talk about when we were kids. They would say that if you played them backwards that they would say devilish things. Did anyone ever confirm that? How do you even play a record backwards anyways? Is that even possible? Does subliminal advertising really work? And if it does how do we know that the findings are correct?

We as a people have to take more responsibility for the information we allow to spread. We feed the spread of illusion! It's time to stop the gossip and get real! You are so right, gossip can really hurt and things get misconstrue when they are passed along from person to person. We really should just go directly to the source and get the most accurate information. I don't read a lot of the emails I get anything with a FW in front of the subject normally will get a delete. But I have read a few of them and if it sounds to good to be true it probably is not true. I do regularly check out the web site On this site you can usually find out if something that is circulating is true or not.

I find that there is just to much non-news out there and I am just not interested anymore. When something truly news worthy happens I even then find I need to turn the news off and wait 24 hours or so till the journalist can get the real story (sort of) and then I will watch or read it. I find with news on TV it is all ratings and who has the info first. They are so busy trying to be first that they neglect to check there facts before they publish or air the information.

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