Some people will believe anything. Myself included.
This used to get me in big trouble growing up in a condo community in the lower-middle class area of Tacoma, Washington. More than once, I was coaxed by strangers to hang out with them because of a cute dog or a bag of mini candy bars. Usually, if it’s a stranger making these kinds of offers to a young girl, it gets worse from there. I was able to get away before anything serious happened in both of those situations, but trusting and believing people first and questioning later was always my style.
In my adult life, I still can’t seem to shake my faith in humanity and always go out of my way to help others. It just feels right. But it also makes me susceptible to those who like to take advantage of that kindness. The times I’ve been burned don’t outweigh the times I’ve been able to help other people who have genuine intentions, and nothing can take that magical feeling away. I just need to be careful.
Judging from those I’m connected to online, many other people are also a bit trusting, as I see tons of reposts of bogus news stories regularly in my social media feeds. Most often, I want to post the truth and have typed, “Come on, do you really believe this?” in the comments section, only to delete it before hitting “enter.” It’s best not to rock the boat.
Still, I don’t understand why people would want to start a chain reaction of rumormongering or conspiracy theories without at least looking to see if it’s true. Most often, you can tell it’s fake just from the website that’s hosting the story. Consider the source. RealNews.co, WorldTruth or ConspiracyWire should be a red flag that it’s nothing but click bait.
There are a number of websites that exist precisely to help you determine whether something is true. A good place to start is Snopes.com. It has been around since the Internet was a thing, and has always been the beacon of hope when I see something that just seems too crazy to be true.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to ban tiny houses? False! A 101-year-old mom gives birth? Nope. The moon will appear green in April and May this year? Beetlejuice 2 is shooting? False. Dr. Ben Carson doesn’t remember running for President? False! A snowboarder in Japan is chased by a bear? Unproven but highly unlikely, as the audio is too perfect and that species of brown bear is uncommon in that area of Japan.
While sometimes bogus or satirical news stories can flood a Google search and appear true (Eddie Murphy died???), one quick search on Snopes. com and you can rest assured that the story has been researched and fact checked, something we should be doing before we post anyway.
CHRISTA WITTMIER IS “SUPERCW” ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA. FIND HER ON SNAPCHAT, SOUNDCLOUD, TWITTER, VINE AND INSTAGRAM. BY NIGHT, SHE IS KNOWN AS DJ SUPERCW. BY DAY, SHE IS KNOWN AS SENIOR MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR YOUNG’S MARKET COMPANY OF HAWAII. HER NIGHTLIFE BLOG SUPERCITY RUNS EVERY WEDNESDAY ON HONOLULUPULSE.COM