Thank Hell that I am not the only person in the world that cares about due diligence, about facts, about truth, and refuses to give in to the idea that how something makes you feel – or that it makes you feel – is far more important than whether it's true before I start sharing it around to my friends. That's kind of an important idea to me. I've written about it at great length before; I've said it so often and so much that "due diligence" has become both a catchphrase in a joke within my household.
And I'm okay with that.
Someone has coined the perfect phrase to describe the random feels-evoking crap floating around primarily on social networks:
That's exactly what it is. It ain't true. It ain't real. It never happened. People are passing it around because it already confirms their prejudices, their beliefs, and the fact that they had an emotional reaction to it. There are sites that focus almost entirely on creating this sort of shit (Upworthy, ViralNova, the Daily Mail by all accounts), a link tagged with that is the source being a sure way of getting me not to ever follow something you share.
(The other way is, of course, link-baiting headlines: if your headline includes a number not preceded by a dollar sign, if your headline includes the phrase "you won't believe," if your headline includes the phrase "this easy method" – you may be an idiot, you may be a fool, and you may be a moron, but I can tell you something that you will never be – and that is a source of something that I care about.)
Learn to recognize viral fiction. Learn to recognize it and inoculate against it. Under recognize it, inoculate against it, and eradicate it from your life because along with understanding due diligence and why it's important, recognizing viral fiction and aggressively avoiding it as toxic to anything like good thinking is going to be increasingly important if you want anyone to take you seriously.
This has been yet another public service announcement.https://medium.com/inside-matter/bf66dfb5c5e8