Is this progress? That I’ve begun to resist the urge to challenge every unfounded claim, every piece of propaganda and the pseudo-scientific nonsense that passes before my eyes on my news feed each day?
Yes, even when a friend could do themselves serious harm were they to follow the advice given in the article they shared? Yes, even when others could be caused serious harms as a result of unfounded claims.
So yes, I very nearly responded to the latest misleading and downright dangerous article to whiz before my eyes. I penned a diplomatic response, wording it carefully so as not to cause upset or offence. But in the end, I deleted it and moved on.
For in the end, minds are already made up, and we all believe what we want to believe. We all have our own truths, that we’ll cling to be what may. “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” is never a good enough retort. “I’ll look into it” or “I’ll investigate” or “I’ll do some research” — none of these cut the mustard.
“Verify it” is the first lesson we learn and the last we apply. We claim to seek truth, but in reality we only seek contingent truths: our truths, convenient truths, partisan truths. Verification does not come into it.
So move on, be quiet, stay out of it. Avert your eyes.