HAPPY NEW YEAR!
For centuries it’s been understood that a ‘fake’ is something that pretends to be the real thing! It’s an imitation. The real thing is ‘genuine’, you can sense it is cause it looks or rings true! It registers something deep in our souls.
People on social media or national news sources are even talking about ‘fake news’, but we should always remember to assess objects or ideas on the basis of the true source of their identity, not what they hype (hope) to be.
Marc’s murder was not ‘fake news’, some news out there on the internet isn’t. I came across this article on Twitter recently about ‘Fake News’. Erick Erickson writes :
“Let me give you three news headlines.
(A) The Russians were able to use American social media to effectively micro-target enough voters to hand the election to Donald Trump.
(B) The media is intentionally undercounting President Trump’s support among white, working class voters in their polling.
(C) Jesus Christ died on a cross, three days later rose again from the dead, and if you accept him as your Lord and Savior you will have eternal life.
Two of those three headlines are fake news. If you are on the right, you probably believe two of them are true. If you are on the left and a believer, you probably believe two of them are true. But both A and B, commonly held beliefs on opposite sides of the partisan divide, are fake. Only C is true.
But we are all Pontius Pilate now wondering what is truth. There is real truth and Jesus is that truth. As you begin accepting, embracing, and pushing fake news, it begins to break down truth for you. It hurts your ability to share the actual gospel truth with others. And as more and more people are advancing fake news, it makes it harder for people to believe them about anything.
Fake news harms the advance of the gospel of Jesus. It harms your ability to relate to others. It harms your ability to know truth.
All of us must now increasingly rely on others, mostly friends, to help us sort out the truth. Unfortunately, conservatives increasingly isolate themselves inside a news bubble because of real and perceived biases by the mainstream media. Liberals isolate themselves inside a social bubble where, even when exposed to truths they do not like, they can easily dismiss them because all their friends tell them it is not true.
People of faith have an obligation to the truth. And we should all tread carefully when loud voices who purport to be with us spread lies. Before you share another story on Twitter or Facebook, please commit to seeking the truth of the story and not just believing it because you saw it on the internet. In fact, be more skeptical of news you see on the internet.
It’s not just Russia that wants you to believe fake news. The Devil does too.”
– Erick Erickson
(Erick is a conservative political commentator who was also a ‘never Trumper’)
I’ve been reading books and articles for years by cultural scientists who’ve been commenting on certain perils of modern life. Authors like Orwell, Huxley, C S Lewis and others have written about the perils of modern culture that knows no bounds.
Jerol Lanier is a secular guy who speaks and writes about among other things the dangers of social media. He comes from a background based in internet science, philosophy and he share’s how our ‘tech and media’ world is ‘destroying democracy‘. One of his key assumptions is that social media has helped destroy ‘personal freedom’. He doesn’t shy away from the truth in saying that social media is revenue driven and ‘attention hoarding, triggering in us a fight or flight response’.
Whether it’s ‘fake news’, loss of personal freedom …. we need to be more concerned about the dangers of social media. We need to monitor our kids, our own reliance on social media as this obsession with social media is keeping us in ‘bubble’ worlds that create a deception about real life.