Don’t Let Alternative Facts on Social Media Cause Agitation

As a lawyer, I am often asked about my political affiliations, opinions and beliefs. My answer usually stays the same, “I try not get involved in politics.” I, like everyone else, have my opinions and beliefs regarding political issues, but choose to not argue with others regarding the same. That being said, I am of the opinion that it is our duty as Americans to be informed. This informed natures is what is to guide us in our privilege to vote, understand laws and help our country grow through diversity. With all of the recent changes in the American political climate, it is vital that we are an accurately informed population. This is true regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, political affiliation or class.

The problem is that technology has made information widely available and more often than not, the information we receive is inaccurate in some way, shape or form. In fact a recent study (more information here: http://www.middaydaily.com/social-media-can-make-users-small-minded/26861/), found that social media narrows our view of the world and allows people to consume and distribute unverified or unverifiable information. We are all aware of the convenience of searching for information on the internet and finding it with the click of a button, which is a wonderful thing. The downfall is that most people do not go past the first click to delve deeper into the source of the information. Social media has become the most popular way for people to communicate. The hope with social media is that users will keep an open mind and share only facts, but social media has the opposite effect – users actually become more eager to share facts based on personal beliefs rather than verified information. The scientist behind the study, Alessandro Bessi, has concluded that users of social media are under the influence of confirmation bias when making posts, tweets, etc. Confirmation bias is the idea of seeking only those facts that prove your pre-existing beliefs. The end result is that people systematically dismiss any and all information that does not confirm their beliefs, even if the truth is available.

To me, this disconnect has become more and more obvious and relevant. Americans are becoming increasingly divided and hostile towards each other with each passing day. These fissures are not the type that will be fixed overnight or maybe even ever. I encourage everyone to take the extra time to verify the accuracy of the information you are receiving or sharing before allowing it to fuel discontent, animosity or hatred. We spend our entire lives interacting with others and it does not benefit anyone to ostracize people, especially based on false information.

On a separate note, you may have noticed that our blog has been more active recently. If you follow us, you will see a new blog post each week posted by our various staff members. Our posts may contain opinions. These opinions are those of our specific authors and may not necessarily reflect the view of Adolph Legal. Please be assured that we are dedicated to offering our clients thorough and effective representation. If there is a specific topic you would like us to address or would like to read more posts by specific staff members, please let us know via e-mail at office@adolphlegal.com.

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