Friday, February 17, 2012

Believing Everything You Read

I am writing this blog post because I want  people to think before they pass non factual information on. People get stories all the time that just are not true and pass it on to just prepetuate the horribleness that most of these stories spread. I am going to show you two examples but I can name several more like the energy saving light bulbs causing major issues in your home if they should break. It is true that they have mercury in them. It is true that breaking them is not a good thing but it is not true that a hazmat response team has to come out and clear your home should one break. You don't have to evacuate and you don't have to wear protective gear, you do have to take precautions and dispose of it properly. I am concerned about those little puppies because thousands of them are being dumped in waste pits and guess what, they are going to break and that mercury is going to seep into the soil. I can imagine we are going to be hearing in the next few years how this is a hazard. But today the invisible and mighty they are saying OH NO PROBLEM! I discussed this with my husband and we will not be using them anymore although he says they cut our electric bills in half. We would rather pay full price then contaminate the earth any more then it already is. I am also not going to go into the story about that rapist/killer/gang member that sneaks in the back seat of your car as you pump gas or the baby at the side of the road that gangs are using to get you to stop. 

The problem with these stories is they often hit a nerve, they sound like they have some truth to them or something like that event really did happen. Like the story about the policeman in an unmarked car that is trying to pull over an unsuspecting girl who ends up being rescued by 4 policemen in marked cars because this guy was a serial killer. Or the egg tosser that messes up your window so you have to pull over. They are all plausible and that is what the authors of these horrible rumors are looking for they want it to go viral and sit back and laugh saying look what I did! But what they are really doing is causing undo panic and fear. We live in a world where we always have to be careful we hear about people gone missing all too often. The people that prey on peoples fears should be locked up.

I want to talk about these things because I want you to be smarter then them, Google is only a click away and you can verify ANY story. Most of these stories go back for years and they can be verified.

Here are a couple that I have seen a lot lately and I want to specifically address them.  I took the names off  because I did not want to embarrass anyone. But holy cow I got all of these in one day and this is only a partial list I got way more , over and over and over.
If you follow these links to twitter and your direct messages you will see this:
Again I edited the name and the link because I know someone out there will want to see where it takes them and that will make this continue. I'll tell you where it goes, it takes you to a virus that sends itself to everyone on your follow and following list. Each and every one of them gets the same message and they want to see what is being said about them and so it goes. There is another version which I have seen and it is about nasty pictures of you. There are Facebook versions of this also, usually sexual and people want to see it... Look if it is nasty you don't need to be looking at it, and if someone on line is talking about you who cares? Do you know most of these people anyway? Plus how are they going to have pictures of you or know they are you? Just say no and delete them then this nonsense stops.

The next story I want to talk about to me is much more despicable. People take real life tragedies and and make up stories. I am not sure why, again it may be that viral thing wanting to be famous even in their own mind or circle. At any rate people pick it up and cry over it because it is so touching and sad and they pass it on. I can again name tons of these stories and like the one I am going to show you. These stories are plausible usually until you think about it. Saddest part is they keep regenerating. Morphing into one event after another always the same story but the place and people can change. I hope you can read it
(Notice the don't forget to share button comment on the bottom..) Yes run and tell about this heroic mom's last words to her child. To the left is the picture that accompanied this missive: undoubtedly this woman was trying to desperately protect her child and in the end they both perished, because this is a death photo. This can not be the mother and child in the story because that is not a 3 month old baby in her arms that is swaddled and under her body. So we know this is not the right pair but lets look at the story a little more it says that the building fell on her and she used her body to protect the baby and keep it up enough to prevent the baby from being crushed and that her hands were supported by an object. I am unsure what that means but then it says her back and head were crushed. It goes on to say that knowing she was dying she left a text message saying goodbye to the child and telling him she loved him. My heart is not made of ice okay but come on. Anyone that has lived through an earthquake knows that you have only seconds to react and sometimes not even that. Earthquakes are instant, you have no warning they are just there and your world is moving on you. When they are strong enough to make buildings collapse you don't have time to do anything but tuck and roll and sometimes not that. To say that this womans head and back were crushed and she still had enough umph to find her cell phone and leave a text, well I am saying phooey to it. Think about it, the injuries were instant, she would have been unconscious even if she did not die right away. If her hands were pinned how could she reach under herself with a heavy building on her to text and tuck that phone into her babies blanket. Didn't happen, what would have happened is the building fell crushing both of them and only if there was a pocket big enough for the baby to fall into would it be spared. Things like that have happened. I remember a story of a mom and her daughter, the mom would make the child sip her blood to keep her alive. They were buried for days before they were found. So it can happen. But this story just has no credibility. Plus this story first surfaced in 2009 after an earthquake in China and this is the picture that accompanied  that one:
 The baby is the right age but they are not near any rubble. When I searched I did find these stories on  Snoopes, they said this man carrying the baby is wearing rescuers gear , but they could not verify the story either. 

And that brings me to the rest of my story, Snoopes is a great site to check things out. There are actually several sites that do the same thing, Urban Legends is another one. So before you perpetuate some sicko's warped fantasy of acquiring internet fame. Click over to Google and check the story out. If it is legitimate there will be news worthy sites talking about the same story if not my guess is you will seen a link to Snoopes.