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: