How are we educating ourselves in this day and age?

There are a multitude of us in the internet stratosphere on a daily basis, doing everything from on-line banking to headline checking to surfing for e-mail and friends. Some people believe that this thing we call the internet has simplified our lives and due to the power it holds has given us
additional time for other things we choose to spend time on. How has the internet changed the way we educate ourselves? How has the internet changed the way we search for our own truths and defined how we have narrowed our interests in our pursuit of learning?

Most people have their personal favorite sites and links they explore daily, some other sites that are glanced at on a weekly basis, and a few that are peaked at once in a while. There are many sources available to glean news sound bites from depending upon your basic ideology, spending anywhere from several minutes to multiple hours poring over a story subject that has a myriad of variations and viewpoints. The talking heads clean, cut, dissect, catalogue, and pose each possible angle that could potentially have any reference to the subject. In the grand scheme of things, how much of what we see, hear, and are influenced by is based in truth and fact? ….. How much of what we intake minute by minute actually has a cold, hard, fact in its origins?

It is my personal belief that we have entered an age where being spoon fed news (from the traditional sources and venues) is not necessarily a good thing and tends to – once again depending upon your ideology – lead you down a predestined path of conclusion that may not be totally factual. Will it have a modicum of truth in it, yes … but it will be crafted to fit the message that the messenger prefers the reader to adopt. I contend that in order to find the truth about what is happening in the world today, you have to sift through several sides of the same story, picking out the factual bits and pieces as you go before you then sit down to place those bits back together into a puzzle that makes sense. I contend that the ease of the internet has not
made things easier for the average person to find the truth; it has in fact muddied the waters and made the task increasingly more difficult to manage. Trust has become an issue now. How much credence do you place in the article you’ve just read? Why is it that if you spend some time searching, you can most likely find a completely opposite article written about the same subject?
Politics aside, have we reached a point where ‘spin’ is just another consideration we have to deal with in our daily pursuit of the truth? Has every news fact happening today become fodder for opinion and positioning? Do you accept the Wall Street journal or the New York Times? Do you trust The Washington Post or the L.A. Times? Which messenger of “truth” is more accurate,
Conservative radio or Liberal media? Each medium claims to be a defender of the truth and each claim to give you the facts straight.

It comes down to basic God given common sense. We are all reasonably intelligent human beings, some are more gifted that others. We are capable of understanding complicated information to a great degree. I’m not saying that we will all be able to explain Einstein’s theory of relativity, but we’re all capable of wrapping our heads around logical facts. Instead of trusting some other venue to spoon feed you the news of the day, take it upon yourself to do your own research and draw your own conclusion. If you do that, you’ve positioned yourself to comprehend both sides of a story that neither is one hundred percent correct but each has pieces to the puzzle you’re trying to complete. Life is never simple, but our journey becomes increasingly complicated with each step we take. Resolve to do your best to search for and find the truth so you can be protected with the best knowledge armor available.

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Comment by Jerseygal on March 29, 2012 at 6:58am

Great post, Richard!  I think being 'spoon fed' news is only part of the problem.  Being 'spoon fed' opinions begins with the current education system, and it is present from Kindergarten thru college.  It is even in private and parochial schools.  It will take years to reverse this.

Comment by Richard -FL on March 31, 2012 at 7:29pm

That is part and parcel the bad part. We, as a society and individuals have, evolved into lazy, stingy, careless people. Not everyone (and present company excluded) but all to often that is the default position most adopt. If they are told something from one they believe, they will accept it hook, line, and sinker. Sad but true. Here, we have enough common sense to trust, but verify. Think, process, think, then act.

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