The Grandmother Problem

Constant access to the media has been around for quite some time now which has led to the sharing of misinformation across all media platforms. The two platforms that I see this most frequently happening on are Twitter and Facebook. These are both places where people share or post their own thoughts that, most of the time, elicit a response. This leads to back and forth comments that can get pretty unfriendly if someone is not sharing accurate information. Most of the time, people are unaware that they are sharing or posting something that is not true, so it is important to inform people on how to properly post on social media.

I have encountered the sharing of misinformation first hand from some of my family members and it makes me wonder where they are finding this information in the first place. My mom seems to believe that everything she sees on Facebook is 100% true and accurate. I have tried telling her to be more cautious and do some more of her own research before jumping to conclusions about what she sees in the media, but she does not seem to think that it is necessary.

In order to help people with this, I tell them to clean up her social media a bit. By this, I mean unfollowing people that have little to no credibility. Yes, there is fake news everywhere, but it is much more beneficial to fill your feed with pages like The Washington Post or The New York Times that provide only the most accurate information. Although it is great to follow credible pages, I find that a lot of where people are finding misinformation is from their own friends.

Unfollowing friends that are not credible can be a little bit more difficult than unfollowing news outlets that are not credible. To get around this obstacle, it is very important to simply fact check these people. If you read something from a friend that you find interesting enough to share, a simple Google search can point you to the whole story. Not only is this a good way to learn more about the topic, it’s also a good way to make sure that you are not posting any false information.