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Please read beyond the headlines

This is a photo of a white trillium. I know that because I looked up the plant’s information through a reliable source. (Provided photo — Diane Chase)

In the world of “gotcha” moments, I find it difficult to believe that people are still just passing along information based on a social media headline. We really need to dig deep. Please don’t use this as an opportunity to accuse the person to your left or right of that behavior. We’ve all done it. The reason headlines are written are to grab your attention. It works. The problem is that we’ve gotten lazy and are inundated with information so we don’t bother to click. We just pass along what we see without bothering to do the research. We all need to do the homework. Yes, it’s online school for everyone.

I am actually interested in all opinions. I don’t want a lecture or barrage of insults, but I’m willing to listen. I recently wrote a column about being colorblind. I received an interesting amount of email that clearly indicated to me that some people didn’t read the column, just the headline. That struck a nerve since people had to click on the column in order to find out my email. Some of those people commented on issues that I hadn’t addressed or had made assumptions on my viewpoint based solely on the headline. So, people had to do extra work to find out where to send me an email, but they didn’t take the time to actually read what I wrote? It’s conflicting, right? There were other emails as well. (For those people interested in a dialog, I thank you. If I haven’t responded. I apologize.)

I understand that we do not believe in the same thing. I get it. I am not standing over here in a fairyland thinking we are all going to hold hands and sing around a campfire. (Wouldn’t that be nice.) I would like to get factual information. I think you would as well.

Though there are fact-checking sites, I’m not going to list any sites because some keyboard warriors will condemn me for being biased. I will inform you that most of the time a simple google search or a click on that link brings you to a space that has nothing to do with the headline. Yes, it takes a few extra minutes but so does searching for an email on a web page.

Also, if you do want to have your opinion out there, please post a valid link, not just the meme. If you want to further your agenda then please take the time to make sure that it is true. Really true. Not just what you wish to be true. There is a difference.

If you can’t take that time, then I can only assume that you truly wish to be the spreader of false information. Please don’t be that person. Please help make your social media just be social, because I can always use a new recipe, or be factually informative.

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