The old adage “Do as I say, not as I do” comes to mind when I reflect on the way I interpret and analyze information versus how I want my students and children to. I tend to rush to conclusions, jump on bandwagons, and go with the masses on many issues. I’m sure my behaviour is due to to the ease and influx of shares, likes, and comments on social media platforms I use because if its all over it must be true, as stated in the Defining Fake News article from this past week, “social media makes the bandwagon heuristic more salient”. An average day of making sense of information, media, and the world around me includes listening or reading somewhat attentively to similar perspectives typically on Facebook (algorithmically assigned to me feeds) and Twitter first thin in the morning or after I send the kiddos off to bed. I am well aware that the information in my feed is tailored to specific perspectives and I will use critiques found on these platforms to formulate my own position.
I also watch late night talk shows where parody and satire are common and I’m never really sure what is real or not…but am most certainly entertained. I am happy to report that I do not get sucked into the clickbait, primarily because my time is so limited online that I do what I need to do and get off (check on current affairs, friends, and shop!). Quite frankly, I am easily swayed, which is in line with the point from that same article, if a reader lacks trust they will be more susceptible to the misinformation. I, reluctantly, have been far too busy to do source and fact checks for all the information that comes across my news feed but after learning just how susceptible I am to misinformation, and of course because I am teacher and must be ‘in the know’ on current affairs, I will look to these keys Holly suggested going forward:
The strategies I currently use to analyze and validate information include checking with my sister and hubby as well as the colleagues I engage with on a daily basis at school. If I’m not sure about something I will typically google search it, paying close attention to the sites I click on and the sources behind the site, to find out more but, as previously mentioned, I don’t take the time I should to properly investigate information I am exposed to. I am proud to say that I do not share ‘news’ unless I am 100% certain of their validity…(as you can probably guess, I don’t share a lot!).
My sharing is primarily funny memes that U relate to or cute pictures of my kids. We should all follow Busby’s (2022) summary from the article he shared going forward as educators, citizens, and parents:
7 thoughts on “Do as I say, not as I do…”
Appreciate the honesty of your post Cymone, and you keep way more up to date than me! I agree that our students and children will need to be way more skeptical and aware than we are or were as youth based on the exposure to fabricated and tailored information as well as the swiftness and vastness of that media!
We can’t be experts in everything, I appreciate your candor! I agree, I love satire and parody and it certainly is entertaining, and that serves it’s own purpose as well.
I feel that same desire to be in the know – I want to know what the students are talking about or what the slang they are using means. I also want to be able to have relevant conversations with them as to what is going on in the world around them, rather than what is happening right in front of them. Middle years is that interesting time where the students do have some idea of what is going on in the world, but few have a good grip on it. Like you, I quite enjoy the Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah (and miss John Stewart) and that genre of TV, and find that my teaching follows a similar pattern – edutainment.
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“If I’m not sure about something I will typically google search it, paying close attention to the sites I click on and the sources behind the site…”
I also opt for this strategy Cymone… Before this course, I considered this as the only way to validate the information that I read on the internet. Moreover, I also like to watch talk shows and while watching them I am focused on its entertainment part….not on what is true or what is fake…..
Your house sounds like my house, Cymone! My husband shows me videos from politcal rallys or talks about current events and I show him funny animal videos and talk about activities I’m looking forward to at school. The internet and news can be so overwhelming that I usually just read/watch one or two things, get overwhelmed and then move on with my day. There is very little fact checking happening here! But like everything else, it has to start somewhere so I am challenging myself to do one of the six fact checking steps, everytime I read an article online. Hopefully soon I will be able to add a few more steps, but for now this works for me! Thanks for your honesty!
I so appreciate reading your honest post. A strategy that I sometimes use that you mentioned, that I never really think of, is asking people I trust that I know are more invested in the news or current events than I am. My spouse is highly invested in Twitter and always knows the most up-to-date news, so I often will ask him before really researching further into something to see if he knows before I make an effort to look more into it (and usually he does). For example, the situation at the Oscars with Will Smith and Chris Rock he knew about before I even heard of it, and then had insight into Will’s actions by researching futher. It was quite impressive.
I really enjoy watching late night shows too, and I am totally sucked into the satires and parodies. I don’t however usually research the actual stories to find out the real versions. Life is in constant motion and trying to fact check and research seems very overwhelming. I do very much appreciate the tools that have been provided to us through this class though. I will be much more cognizant and literate in the future!