Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

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.

Alternative fake news

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.

 

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20 comments on “Alternative fake news

  1. T
    February 1, 2017

    I think in America most news shows are not really ‘news’ they are full of uncorroborated speculation or opinions delivered in advance of the facts. It’s inevitable with 24 hour news/advertising channels- there simply isn’t enough sensationalist material without the hype and hubris…

    I like http://www.bbc.co.uk news. It’s broadcast on PBS and BBC America too I think, but I would prefer to read the news, it’s less distressing and somehow people seem more thoughtful about what is written than what is spoken- even though both communications become permanent public record this day and age.

    Good luck getting business back on track Anita!

    • Anita
      February 2, 2017

      I agree and also that there is an over abundance of reporters after the same story. Each one trying to get our attention by putting their own slant on it. I’ve started watching the BBC news on my local PBS. Now that congress has stopped funding for public broadcasting I’m not sure there will be enough donations to keep it going. I als limit myself to just 30 minutes of local news and weather so I know what is going on in my city. I would like to read the newspaper but its too expensive for me.

  2. Emma
    January 31, 2017

    The good thing that may come out of all this is an awakening of sorts. It seems to be happening already. News agencies seem to be waking up to what their purpose is in a democratic society. Question everything rather than shill for The Machine. Bring our leaders to task. Demand accountability. Be the voices of the people, for the people. It’s exciting even if it is a bit painful to watch. Enjoy your moments of solitude. Winter is a time for hibernation. Good people outnumber the bad in this world. I am someone north of the border who is rooting for all her kind and warm-hearted American friends. Peace.

    • Anita
      January 31, 2017

      Emma I agree, the real news agencies seem to be re-thinking how they report. I keep wondering what is going on in the world away from Trumpism. Surely there is more news than just what’s going on in DC. Thanks Emma, I’m rooting for you all there too.

  3. Donna
    January 30, 2017

    What is it with men? Even before the election and now, still, my hubby is GLUED to the news! Or should I say “the thoughts of the news people.” About the 10th of January I developed Afib. The doctor asked me if I was worried about anything. I said no but have since decided that answer should have been YES!. I recently realized I am very worried about the USA, my grandkids futures, life as we knew it, money, insurance, on and on. I have come to the conclusion that news, or words spouted, real or alternative, is causing my worry. I too am tuning out. I think my house will be better off and me too. So organizing, decluttering, cleaning here I come. I will NOT watch any more news and will try to tune it out when hubby is glued to it. Sorry this is so so long, just had to vent.

    • Anita
      January 31, 2017

      Yes Donna, the news has so many people hyped up and angry. It seems as though tv has become like a visual version of Red Bull on steroids. Its as addicting as reality tv and soap tv. I’m just guessing but I believe that while we (meaning the public) are so busy getting our visual stimulation that our personal lives are being forgotten. While I was busy watching constant news I wasn’t cooking, or sewing, or cleaning or being frugal. I’m much calmer now and feeling like myself again now that I’m only watching PBS news. Except for the occasional tongue lashing threats about my beliefs I can forget all the hype and bickering. Long comments are fine and so is venting.

  4. Kathleen
    January 30, 2017

    Anita,
    Years ago I stopped watching the news like you are doing now because it was all POOP!!!
    Not real news just like the reality shows and just like the news now..it was this person’s opinion and that person’s crappy idea…
    I found that watching the BBC news is pure news, just what I was looking for in a news media…no POOP!! They are the truest news in the world.
    The U.S. news has so many speculators and opinionated people…Take one million people and you get one million opinions..total confusion!!
    Just sharing
    Kathleen

    • Anita
      January 30, 2017

      You are so right Kathleen. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I never liked watching reality tv or soap opera. Lately that’s all there is in the news. I found the BBC news on my local pbs station. I’m able to watch it to be informed without immediately feeling stress. I’m not sure how long the pbs stations can remain on the air though now that government funding will stop. I’m not sure there will be enough donations to keep it going.

  5. Margie in Toronto
    January 29, 2017

    You make some excellent points Nana – I think we all need to be sceptical of news from both sides of the fence – read as much as we can from a variety of sources so that we are personally as informed as possible – and not get caught up in hype or hysteria. And that applies equally to politics, to social issues, to what is or isn’t “politically correct” or simply to what is currently popular. An informed person is better able to think for themselves and better able to wade through the hype and misleading “facts: – i.e. ingredients in our food, cleaning items, toiletries and makeup.
    And yes, I find it’s also wise to take a deep breath and to filter out a lot of the noise now and again.
    I read an interesting article just a little while ago that pointed out, while it’s wonderful that we now have access to news from all around the world, probably 85% of that news has no direct affect on our lives – and yet we often give equal time or express equal concern – and I’m not necessarily talking about World Events. We hear about a house fire in one country that killed 5 – a bus crash in another that killed 29 or an industrial accident in another that killed 50 – all very sad but really only for the family and friends of those killed. The article was trying to point out that in years past we would have never heard of these events and perhaps there is no need to read or watch the online reports now as all they really do is overwhelm us with negative news, or even worse, make us so numb that we are losing our ability to sympathize or empathize.
    There is also a lot of goods news out there – but that doesn’t sell newspapers or wrack up online hits the same way that doom and gloom does so there is not a lot of balance out there. We can however, every now and again, choose to turn off the computer or the TV and perhaps turn on some lovely music and read a book – or better yet, get out there and talk to our friends and family face to face and find that balance that we all need.

    • Anita
      January 30, 2017

      Margie that was an interesting article. It goes right along with what I’ve been thinking. Thanks. I moved to get away from chaos and crime but then got caught up in it through media. My feelings feel less stressful today because I’ve turned it off.

  6. Jane
    January 29, 2017

    Another great post, Anita! I feel exactly the same way. Coincidentally, I closed the computer tab on facebook yesterday & I’m listening to the CBC (our public radio and TV broadcaster) radio news broadcast only once each day. I haven’t had a TV for some years now. Today I got back to clearing out things I no longer want or need; they’ll go to a thrift shop on Wednesday, my regular go-to-town day. Time to focus on the things that are real & make my life simpler and more affordable in my everyday life. Enjoy your stew and beautiful quilting!

    • Anita
      January 30, 2017

      Thank you Jane. I use only air tv but like you I’m staying with the public broadcasting network or local news only. I’m not sure of the future for public broadcasting though. The government funding for public broadcast is being stopped. I’m not sure they can get enough donations to stay on the air without it. In my area we have a charity that will pick up items to benefit the mentally challenged group homes. I sat some boxes out to be picked up today. The stew was so good on a cold day.

  7. Sue
    January 29, 2017

    I agree with you!! I am checking my emails, reading my frugal blogs, doing more cooking with real food, and quilting! Oh, and I am crocheting warm hats and mittens for the needy. I am not watching the news, so I don’t need to sort fact and fiction. I will concentrate instead on making my little corner of the world a better place to live. Thanks for helping me get my priorities straight!

    • Anita
      January 30, 2017

      Um.. could I be one of your needy? It sure gets cold standing at the bus stop. Just kidding but I do need to buy a hat and scarf. I fear the weather will be warm before I get a chance to shop for them. There is a group here that makes hats and gloves and leave them at bus stops. So far none have been left at my bus stop.

  8. Linda Ladner
    January 29, 2017

    Once again, I am in awe of your wisdom and common sense. I also got caught up in the pre-election news and got very depressed and angry. Add to that I live in a city that has a high murder rate and a long history of racial issues. The news and morning tv shows were feeding my unhappiness, so I have turned them off. I did this a few months ago (pre-election) in an effort to curb my fear and depression. It has helped, but I need to police my tablet more carefully. I would like to share what you wrote with a few (3-4) people. Do you mind if I do that?

    • Anita
      January 30, 2017

      Sure, share it all you want. I guess you know I moved in order to get away from all the crime of the old neighborhood. Sure, there is crime everywhere but some areas have more than others. I moved only a few miles but it made all the difference for me. Its hard paying a mortgage payment again but my life is less stressed about crime around me.

  9. boblosan
    January 29, 2017

    Anita I hear you and I feel your struggle. In my home, one of us – and it’s not me – gets very angry if I don’t agree with something. Anything really. It’s happened gradually over a quarter of a century and I really just began noticing for the past few months. I’m not sure if men who are spoiled and told they are great as kids become men who feel entitled and talk down/yell at/cuss at women? I will miss your blog posts, but I understand and I will support you in any focus you choose (within reason, lol). I’ll still be here reading your posts. I do know that your posts are a touch of reality in my increasingly confusing and lie-filled days. Hopefully we’ll all get through this without too many scratches and dents.

    • Anita
      January 30, 2017

      I’m just taking a few days off to concentrate on my quilting business and calm my fears about the world. I’ve been so caught up in all the chaos that I couldn’t concentrate enough to write frugal living posts. Heck, I couldn’t keep myself frugal which meant I couldn’t write about it either. I need to re-focus my thoughts. I suspect he has also got caught up in all the anger we’ve witnessed since the presidential campaign started. Anger creates anger. My brother has also shown tendencies toward acting entitled toward his wife of 44 years. I know for certain he wasn’t brought up that way. He spends a lot of time watching tv news. In my opinion its the media causing it.

  10. Linda
    January 29, 2017

    just yesterday I was telling a friend where do we go to get the right information. What radio station what news source…what is true….you put my thoughts into words…Thanks for posting please don’t stop….

    • Anita
      January 30, 2017

      I’m not going to stop. Only taking a break from this blog and the news so I can concentrate on getting my quilting business back up and running again. I plan to only watch PBS news because it doesn’t have the same “urgency” as the major news shows. If I watch local news I wait for ten minutes before turning it on because only the first ten are about politics. The rest is strictly local news.

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