Are you guys ready for some hard-hitting commentary from the guy who runs the News for The Lumberjack? No? Yeah, me too, to be quite honest. I hate writing these as much as the next guy, because everyone expects me to dive into this deep psychological issue that I can only solve. Well, they’re not necessarily wrong I mean if Steak-Umm, a frozen steaks brand can debate Neil deGrasse Tyson about the complexities of our solar system on Twitter, I think I can talk about the complexities surrounding the world of social media and how we currently consume media is bad for us.
But I hate to break it to you, I can’t. I’m not allowed to offer my opinions as that would be a conflict of interest for me, but sorry Nathan. The people are asking for it.
So here it goes. In the times of uncertainty and misinformation: Anecdotes are truly not data. All good data is carefully measured and collected based on a wide range of factors, including, but not limited to, controlled variables, meta analysis and randomization outliers attempting to counter global consensus around this pandemic. The internet is filled with online sleuths and amateur reporting, but they are not collecting data. Breaking news stories, the ones I help break, only report the initial findings of an event. We have to be careful in our media consumption as it can be spun with interpretative bias from different media perspectives.
I hope you remember this, so we can all avoid fear-based sensationalism or conspiracy theories being spread by your Uncle Ricky during Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t let these take over your mind, as you can maintain an independent, critical-thinking view toward institutions without having to dip into fringe conspiracies that have been created by individuals spreading anecdotes being virally spread as data. It’s not easy, but I mean we survived Facebook and its applications being down for half a day. It’s possible.
You’ve just been schooled by Father Mark. Bless.