Truth, the kind that is supported by facts, seems to be in shorter supply all the time. I think much of the credit for that goes to the internet. Mark Twain famously said that “A lie can travel around the world and back again while the truth is lacing up it’s boots.”
Mr. Twain didn’t foresee the development of the World Wide Web, if he had he would likely have said a lie has no data caps but the truth gets 1gig max.
Lies spread likes wildfires and these days Smokey Bear is no where to be seen. One person uses Social Media to strike a match and every one else pours gas on it with likes and retweets. It seems as if the only thing needed to make a lie the truth is the desire to believe it.
As George Costanza was known to say on Seinfeld, “it’s not a lie if you believe it.” Unfortunately for George that’s a lie too.
Depending on which research you choose to believe people lie on average between 2 to 200 times a day. Most of the research on lying also shows that 75% of people claim they never lie, not ever. (They might be lying about that) So let’s take the midpoint of all the research and say the average person lies 100 times a day. Since 75% of people never lie, that means that some people must lie virtually all the time. You can’t believe anything they say. Whatever the actual number, most of the lies are thought to be harmless and even “protective” of people’s feelings. But telling lies is a slippery slope.
The absolute biggest liars in the world, both on social media and in person are “They” and it’s close relative, “They Say.”
They and They Say can make up anything they want and yet can’t be held accountable. They and They Say are willing co-conspirators of anyone who wants to spread rumors and falsehoods. People convince themselves that they aren’t lying because “They” or “They Say” said it.
Kinda like, “I don’t know for sure but “They” say that the refs were bought off in each of the four Super Bowls the Minnesota Vikings lost.” Now understand, it’s not me saying that, “They” said it. I’m just repeating what I heard. So if it turns out to not be true it’s not like I was lying.
Here’s the deal folks, if you spread something that may not be true you are at minimum guilty of spreading rumors. If you know it’s not true then you’re lying, no matter how much you may want it to be true. But even if you’re absolutely certain that something is true you should ask yourself if sharing it has any value to anyone or if what you’re thinking of sharing will cause irreparable harm to someone.
I used to be a pretty big “They Say” sharer. I’ve worked over the last several years to stop that unprofessional behavior. I’m better off for making that effort and you will be too.
Don’t pass on the words of the world’s biggest liars, there is enough fake information out there already. NO ONE needs more.