Reducing your gullibility quotient

Remember back in the days before the Internet?
(Seriously, there was life before the Internet.)

We used to receive these things in the mailbox called “chain letters.” Generally they arrived with no return address, promised wealth and blessing and all good things if you complied with the letter’s demands, and everything from the pox to crop failure to certain death if you didn’t. The demands involved making multiple copies of the letter (this before the days of at-home copiers or scanners) and sending them out within a certain period of time to a number of friends and relations.

And although we have advanced so far technologically that “snail mail” and hand-written copies of anything are practically obsolete, we have NOT, it appears, advanced beyond the puerile need to torment, terrorize, and tick off our friends and family members. Now we have email scams and Facebook hoaxes, and with the advent of Photoshop and all its copycat programs, the ability for any goofball with a computer to create just about any picture of anything and make it look completely real. (Sorry, the tiger is the victim of Photoshop… like most of the models in our fashion magazines.)

Jane Fonda, for those who don’t know the story already.
http://www.snopes.com/military/fonda.asp

And the silly stories NEVER go away.
Think back… in the ’90s our email accounts burgeoned with threats of tainted lipstick, the address of a child in England dying of a dread disease who just wanted a postcard sent to his bedside, free Victoria’s Secret panties, rumors about atheist Madelyn Murray O’Hair’s imminent plan to take over the nation’s airwaves, and static-triggered gas station explosions. As we surfed the web for hours on end, our screens were inundated with pop-ups promising us we were the lucky winners of a free laptop and cruises to Mexico… just click.

And click we did. I spent almost a full week extricating our bank account from a selection of subscriptions and various products my DH inadvertently signed up for. He’s an optimist. He really believed that free laptop gimmick was true.

And now we have Facebook, Twitter, and social media. And nothing has changed.
Every day I watch my FB friends, sometimes people I have known and respected almost my entire life, fall victim to these sneaky tricks, posting and sharing and reposting things that have long since been proven false or at the very least are so suspicious they’re worth a bit more examination. Even when someone comes right out and says, “Hey, that’s not true!” the posting and sharing continues unabated.

THIS is false, and foolish, and pointless. You can’t protect your FB privacy with a status update. 

As Winston Churchill said,
“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

 I didn’t even include the dozen or more other questionable posts I found JUST TODAY. We’re being deluged with lies designed to waste our time, make us resent our country and our government (like anyone needs help with that), pluck our heartstrings, bring us to tears, and make us afraid of everything from robotic mosquitoes to deadly toxic mold in our Capri Sun packages.

Just check stuff out before passing it on.
Bill Cosby and Morgan Freeman will probably thank you.

2 thoughts on “Reducing your gullibility quotient

  1. Unknown says:

    I am guilty ! Who isn't, I agree with everything you said… Change starts with small things such as this blog, sharing…. Truth is always 3 sided….
    All wew can do is do the best we can on a daily! Blessings )O(

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