The proverbial grapevine has always been a source of frustration and embarrassment for many reasons. These days, thanks to social media, the grapevine is now on steroids.
The Kansas City Star had a lengthy front-page article recently about this topic (Montgomery, Rick. Rumor Mill Gets Faster, Not Smarter 4/22/12). Montgomery did a good job analyzing all the hows and whys.
The bottom line is social media allows for instantaneous communications. This is a good thing in terms of speed, especially when major events are occurring. Equally so, this can be a bad thing in terms of content accuracy.
Therefore, we as users of social media must be even more attentive to evaluating each transmission or posting with a critical mind. There are too many forces out there that spread false information for nefarious motives.
I thank God for the power of the Internet! We can do so much more than we ever could in the past. Hand in hand with that power however, whether publishers or consumers, we each have a significant responsibility as to how we handle the content.
If jumping to conclusions was dangerous in the past, it has become even more dangerous today. The leap you take you may later regret.
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