We are in the midst of a constantly moving, very fast paced digital and information age. It puts information and people’s lives at our fingertips. It helps us connect to people for many good reason all over the world. However, because of its fast pace and ever- changing information, the digital age is also a breeding ground for lies, half-truths (which are also half lies), those who want fifteen minutes of fame, and those with social media platforms that are questionable at best. What are you saying Elizabeth? I am saying that this digital age has given us a lot of access to good information; but it has also given us access to people who have no substance, no integrity, no humility, and no accountability when it comes to the things they say and the things they are pushing out over social media platforms.
Social media, in particular, has become the main vehicle to push both news and agendas of all kinds. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a marked difference in the two anymore; and trust me, there’s a big difference. Social media has in fact muddied the water so to speak in this digital age. It has aided in the rise of unscrupulous people putting out unscrupulous news and agendas into our world view. These people have no accountability, they don’t have to have it (as in times past) because no one has to see them in person to read their material or “get to know them.” Why? They can put on social media whatever they want and project whatever image they want, even if it is a lie. They don’t have to be honest. They don’t have to be humble. They don’t have to have substance (e.g. actually know what they are talking about with experience) because they can manipulate their image to fit whatever they want to portray. They can make dishonesty look honest and arrogance look like humility. It’s easy to do when you don’t have to worry about anyone actually knowing who you really are. It’s easy when you don’t have to worry about your authenticity nor the authenticity of the information you are putting out.
And do you now what is worse? People follow these people! They listen to their lies and they believe the image that is projected without ever looking up the facts. People have stopped thinking for themselves! This astounds me! Whatever happened to verifying facts and non-facts before accepting something or someone at face value? Our social media and digital age has made this a bygone practice. If people see it on the internet or on social media, it must be true! I am here to tell you, just because you see and hear it on the internet does not make it true! Did it ever occur to you that unscrupulous people might be playing with you head and your emotions to get you to believe what they want you to believe and do what they want you to do? Look at how the Soviets and present-day China manipulate their people. If the Soviets were around today as they were 40 years ago, they’d be using our information age to their advantage I assure you. Look at how our modern-day terrorists (e.g. ISIS, the Taliban, and other various racially motivated hate groups both inside and outside of America) have manipulated people into believing and doing horrific things in the last 20 years. This is common practice for them! Why are we not checking their “facts”? Why do we blindly follow?
Let’s not forget the keyboard cowards (aka internet trolls) who also fall into this category of no substance, no integrity, no humility and no accountability. Anyone who would sit for hours or even days on the computer and troll (aka bully) people has nothing better to do with their lives. They need to look at themselves and find out why they like to hurt people. They could use a good, healthy dose of humility and accountability to start with. Yet these very same people are attempting to shape public opinion and vilify people they don’t agree with. They try to tell people who they are and who they aren’t without ever meeting them or sitting down for a conversation. I see it on Twitter and Facebook every single day. Some of these same cowards have tried to do this to me. Needless to say, they didn’t get very far. Why? I think for myself. I know who I am. I know what I believe.
Well now wait a minute Elizabeth. You have a social media footprint. You have a message you’ve put out there too. Why should I think you are any different than the people you are describing? I know this question is coming so I’m going to address it. I want to put this out here right now as I have many times before if you’ve followed me over the last few years. If anyone ever has a problem with something I say on a blog, social media or even in one of my published books; feel free to email me. If you ever want to discuss a viewpoint with me, email me. My email address is on my main website. Feel free to message me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We will talk. We will meet face to face if need be and if necessary and helpful for understanding. I am not afraid of anyone for any reason. I don’t have to hide behind a social media “presence” or the internet. I am not afraid of your questions and I am not afraid of someone disagreeing with me. I am willing to sit down and have a dialogue. I will not be bullied or coerced into changing my mind or letting anyone have their way, but I will talk to you and try to see your viewpoint. We may leave our discussion in agreement or we may leave agreeing to disagree, but I will speak with you. Ask an internet troll if they will meet you face to face for any discussion. Ask any of these unscrupulous characters you see on social media platforms if they will meet with you and talk. I’m going to save you some time and typing. They won’t meet with you and they won’t talk to you on any platform or even in person. Why? Because you are dealing with unscrupulous cowards. I am not a coward. Fair enough?
I will leave you with an honest plea. Check out who you are following in the digital world. Verify, verify, verify. Check out who your sources of information are in this information age. Verify, verify, verify. Think for yourself. Know who you are. Know what you believe. Do not have any self-serving or self-glorifying agenda as they do. If you do these things, an unscrupulous coward will not get you to follow them for any reason. You will see right through them, even through their digital self. You will know truth, and truth will set you free (and keep you free).
Matthew 10:16 (the words of Jesus); Listen carefully: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves [have no self-serving agenda].