Am I just preaching to the town choir when I say that reading social media postings proves many people believe anything they hear or read?
We routinely discuss that at the office lately —with more and more local social media pages popping up — rumors around town are way up and facts seem way down.
Now, when I ask if I’m preaching to the choir it’s because those engaged in the rumor mill don’t seem to be reading the newspaper like you who are reading it now. They don’t seem to be all that interested in what’s “really” happening in their community.
They ask questions of other people about issues and events easily attained for just 75¢ at a local store.
They read a headline posted on Facebook and draw conclusions without reading the story. They come up with ideas to get officials to resolve issues that officials have already begun and we’ve reported on.
And they get in fights online. One man called Tuesday wanting us to write a story to clear his name of wrongdoing he claimed was being made against him on FB. Since we didn’t publish anything about this guy, J.P. told him we didn’t see a story there. (By the way, the guy who wanted his name cleared wouldn’t give his name. We’ve thought of changing our motto to: “We don’t make this stuff up.”)He probably won’t read this either.
So yeah, it’s harder to get a letter in the newspaper than to rant on FB because we have rules, such as no libel and a limited number of words (400 — much more than the 140 characters on Twitter). That’s enough to get your point across.
If you’re not part of the choir, please educate yourself before you post something stupid online.