There’s been something brewing inside of me lately and I just wanted to share and be vulnerable.
I don’t align and agree with conspiracy theories or conspiratorial type thinking. In my humble opinion, most are rife with fear, doubt, suspicion, paranoia, and cynicism. I choose to avoid navigating the world from those filters.
Honesty, facts, data, research, and science matter to me and is a way to “know” stuff too. I enjoy fact-checking things from a variety of angles, asking questions and then making up my own mind on their validity – even if I stand alone or people disagree with me. I’m also open to receiving additional information that may contradict what I believe.
Just because a well-known person is espousing conspiracies, doesn’t make them valid. Just because something goes viral doesn’t make it accurate. It’s called confirmation bias when people believe in things just because it’s popular. Confirmation bias give us a sense of belonging, validation, and it’s a way to avoid FOMO, [Fear Of Missing Out].
I get it. We’re living in challenging times and people are looking for simplifying ideologies and answers to cope with living in a scary, uncertain world. I also know that the algorithms in social media amplify toxic content and misinformation as a way to hijack our attention, so we buy what the advertisers are selling. We are the product, not the customer. Therefore, it’s paramount more than ever to question information you receive from social media.
It is true that evil, greed and corruption is evident in all industries and professions. By the way, you’re more likely to be aware of it when it’s actually occurring if you stop assuming that shadowy elites are everywhere and always out to get you. Our biases, assumptions and conclusions cloud our intuition and rational cognitive abilities.
The most potent place to be is to just receive everything as information and be neutral without aligning and agreeing with any of it. Do I accomplish this all of the time? Heck no. I have to work at it non-stop and I fail miserably more often than not.
I’m sharing this because I’m surprised by the lack of critical thinking skills with people believing anything without any curiosity, or investigative inquiry as to why they believe what they do and if what they’re espousing has any basis in reality. Unfortunately, we live in an age with a broken and toxic information ecosystem. It’s so easy now to live in our own information silos that cancels out anything outside of our bubble.
Lies are so destructive and I believe it’s killing the planet, people, and the animals to keep propagating them. We have a choice to stop doing this.
I’m inviting anyone interested to never stop being curious, asking questions and challenging popular assumptions. Sometimes doing this can be very uncomfortable and painful. However, that’s how we heal, expand out, learn, and grow.