Fake News and The Search For Truth: No, Really, It’s Still Out There

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I have to admit that, since I started blogging back in 2008, the online landscape has changed quite a lot.  The principle of independently investigating the truth has become even more difficult than it already inherently is because of the glut of information so easily available now; making things murkier are false pieces of information that are also so easily available now, as well as, what seems to be, a decrease in the willingness to listen because of information overload and thinking/analysis fatigue.

In other words, people are fed up trying to figure things out and just want to hide.  And I can’t blame them.

I often feel that we are, indeed, caught in a catch-22: on the one hand, we have to step out of our echo chambers, but on the other hand, how do we develop the skills and have the time to run a deep analysis of everything that we do read?

Theoretically, we should be able to lean on experts, one in each field, to do the analysis for us, while we provide an analysis in our field of expertise.  So, if you are a lawyer and we know someone well versed in politics, and I am a healthcare professional, that means that we can cover three fields pretty thoroughly.

But in reality, it is a whole other ballgame; even when it comes to just one area of expertise, we are advancing at such a pace that it feels like no one can keep up.

And so, where does that leave us?

It feels like, yet again, it’s about returning to the grassroots and trying to understand our reality rather than understanding Reality.  It is impossible to know everything anymore; no one can possibly read everything that is available and know everything that is needed to know.

This is liberating and very empowering, if you think about it.  While we should remain aware of everything to a certain extent, we should focus, perhaps, only on our immediate surroundings.  So, for example, while we are aware of how much injustice there is in the world, we should focus on eliminating it from our families, our schools, our workplace, and our neighborhoods.

It might seem like we are taking a step back to what we used to be, that is, stuck in our little village and ignoring the global one.  However, that doesn’t have to be the case.  In the example above, whatever we learn about justice through our daily dealings can become something we can share with others in similar situations around the world.  It also means that we have more weight when we write to our elected representatives, because instead of passive citizens, we are writing in as activists.  And similarly, there is an increasing number of inspiring stories about how justice is established in various conditions through various methodologies.

So, while there is, indeed, a lot more to wade through, trying to understand our reality in the 21st century doesn’t mean that we have to lose ourselves in it.  And going small today could actually be a huge step ahead, rather than a step backwards.

{ Sahar’s Blog is all about being in a constant state of learning.  So it only made sense for me to go back to all my previous posts and see how my thoughts on certain topics have changed over the last nine years.  In this new, ongoing series of posts, I’ll be rereading some of my older posts and reflecting on the same topic in light of what I’ve learned since then.  It’s going to be very interesting to see how things have changed! }

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4 thoughts on “Fake News and The Search For Truth: No, Really, It’s Still Out There

  1. I love the point that you make about understanding OUR reality vs. understanding reality. That’s so deep and so interesting!

    I definitely struggle with feeling overwhelmed at times with knowing what to read and believe. I’m guilty of feeling overwhelmed and ignoring news for example because either it’s too depressing or I just don’t know what to believe. But I think bringing it back to the grassroots – what’s my reality, what can I do in my own life and vicinity rather than focusing outwardly so much might help.

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