Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
I want to thank those who commented on my women unite post. It didn’t matter if you agreed with me or not because I was interested in hearing both sides. In high school I loved the debate team. I also say thank you to the guys for being so patient as we women commented about women’s issues. My belief is that we are all a part of this big blue marble in space and its important we find ways to calmly communicate with each other before we destroy ourselves.
The campaigning is over for the next three years. The voting is done and counted. There can be only one winner and my candidate lost. I’ll decide my next vote at the next election four years from now. I may not like Trump’s views or his attitudes but he IS our new president. I do wish him every success because if he should fail, we all fail. Only history will tell us what kind of president he will be.
Which brings me to today and the issue of alternative facts and fake news, that has exploded all over the internet media. I confess I fell victim to all the hype, both real and fake, like so many others. I began letting other people’s anger become my anger. I wasn’t thinking for myself any longer. So, its been bothering me that I’ve not seen through the lies to find the truth.
When I was young, long before the days of computers and internet, there was a popular saying “Don’t blindly follow. Question everything. Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.” I had forgotten that advice. I have no reason to blindly believe a woman would be any more honest than a man. I have no reason to blindly believe any president (male or female), or any country’s leader (male or female), will be more honest than any of the rest of the wealthy corporate types. Not since the days of President Nixon have I had to be so vigilant to seek out truth. If you don’t know, President Nixon declared war on the media for fact checking the things he said.
Personally I believe we’ve all been victims of alternative fake information for a very long time. Every time we pick up a box of what we believe is a cereal with blue berries only to find there are no blue berries in it we are victims of fake facts. Every time we eat a sugar free food with a chemically named sugar in it we are victims of alternative facts. When the corporate world convinces us that hidden chemicals are not chemicals but instead are delicious food then we are victims of alternative fake information.
Its just my opinion but I believe the lines between truth and lies have been blurred so much that our survival on this blue marble world is threatened by how easy the misinformation is allowed to spread and grow. Separation of fact from fiction is not easily found and in its place we get new terms like “alternative facts” and “fake news” and “sponsored content” to confuse our reality. Each time I’m tempted to click on a link labeled “sponsored content” I must remind myself this is not a real news story. Sponsored content is advertising. Advertising is created by someone who wants my money. Some people will say or do whatever shady tactic necessary to separate us from critical reasoning.
Every time I visit a blog or web site these days I must decide if what I see is real or tabloid. I can’t afford to be complacent in the world I live. For me, its very uncomfortable to think about how misinformation is so readily available, very potent, and how quickly my mind believes it. Maybe that’s because I have a protection instinct within me. It comes from motherhood. When I see an injustice I want to jump to the rescue before checking the facts. My senior mind is having difficulty separating the actual news, fake news, and online sponsored content from truth. In this world of instant social media its really hard for me to decide what is real and what is fake. As my mind grows older it gets more difficult to protect myself.
Throughout history the media, the advertisers, the politicians, and the corporate world has used misinformation to sway public opinion. Seriously do you think people would accept chemical margarine as being a tasty alternative for butter during WW2 without the alternative facts and media hype? Would the public accept chemicals as real food without being bombarded with the misinformation?
Ever since the campaigning first began last year I’ve slowly, gradually found myself glued to the tv or the internet trying to figure out who said what, what are they going to say next, and how will it affect me. Too often I’ve found myself caught up in the fake news or alternative facts. More than once I’ve asked myself has the whole world gone crazy? Is this really a SHTF situation and should I start to hoard stuff? My curious mind wanted to know why and how I could so easily be caught up in all the chaos. What I learned is that everyone, including presidents, can fall victim to the fake news. Everyone can be fooled in the same as we are fooled by what’s in our food. I thought about how, unless I question what’s in a food, I don’t know what I’m eating. So unless I read the fine print of all the fake, alternative, and sponsored news I won’t know what I’m reading.
In order to keep myself from being a victim of all the false stuff any longer I took a critical look at myself and did some research on how to immunize myself. I need to focus more on what the motives are behind a news report the same as I would scrutinize a new food product ingredient. I have to train myself to ask some questions. Who has written the report? Why have they written it? What will they gain from the news? Is it possible what I’m reading is alternative facts, tabloid fake news, or a sponsored report? Is the news report something I would be happy to tell others about? I must also remind myself that if I join with others to spread fake stuff there can be real life or death consequences because people become so angry so quickly these days.
One of the steps I must take to immunize my thinking is to shut down my computer and unplug the tv for a few days. I had to do the same thing a few years ago when I couldn’t get any quilting done because I was hooked on watching tv. I’m just tired of the bickering and arguing over all the media. Its going to be a long four years if I don’t break away from it all and concentrate on issues closer to me. Like my quilting and how to keep the roof over my head. So, I’m taking some days off from blogging, clicking, and watching the media. Except to answer comments or draft a few frugal living posts. I need to focus my mind on my own tiny speck on this big blue marble. I want to immunize myself against the misinformation bug while I concentrate on my own reality and my own survival in the months or years ahead.
I’m gone quilting and cooking a nice warm stew.