The Wrongness of Social Media

This morning I woke up at 6 a.m. Which is of course not too bad, but a rather reasonable hour to most. Perhaps a wee bit earlyit certainly is early for yours trulybut all in all nothing to make a fuss about. That is before you take into account that the last time I looked at the clock before falling asleep, it was well after 4 a.m. That quickly sets the stage for a more than usual grumpy swede.

With my grumpy glasses on, I had a little gander at twitter. I often do this in the morning, looking through international news stories that happened during the night, as well as tweets posted by those unfortunate enough to be living in strange time zones. And that was when it hit me. People are remarkably often wrong. To be honest, it was hardly the first time it hit me, but usually it is simply noticed, followed by some silent judgement, and then quickly forgotten. This time, to everyone’s immense joy, I decided to ramble on about it in this here blog post.

This would probably be the time to clarify that I am not talking about the spreading of fake news and the such, nor am I lamenting over typos and poor grammar. I am sure all that has been lambasted quite enough without my help. No, I am talking about the small, often inconsequential, things. Like the other day I saw someone on twitter talking about why they had chosen a specific name for the main character in their story. But the problem was that what they thought the name meant, was not at all what etymology sites stated as the name’s meaning. And today someone completely butchered the meaning of a common phrase, and a whole bunch of people took it as fact, commenting how interesting it was to learn that. Oh, and the plural form of ellipsis is ellipses, but I guess that falls under grammar.

Before anyone comments, I am fully aware of how petty and pedantic all of this sounds. Nothing of this really makes any difference. At least not in grand scheme of things. But it does make you look stupid. Sure, it is not on the level of “the moon is made out of cheese” stupid, but it is stupid nonetheless. And it is so easily remedied. A simple google search is all it takes. I do it many times each day, and that is only counting the times checking the veracity of what others state as fact. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would even want to claim something as fact without being at least somewhat certain of its truthfulness. This sloppiness with facts is a most unattractive trait in my eyes. Nothing epitomises this more than the many so-called fact accounts; social media accounts that regularly post what could at best be described as half truths.

But I think I have been standing on this soapbox long enough by now. I best take my grumpy self elsewhere to pursue more productive escapades. Thank you for your time, and in the future, please make an effort to thwart the spreading of falsehoods in all its forms.