Sunday, December 28, 2008

Email stories

I'm often barraged with emails sent by well meaning people who don't stop to really read or think about what it is they're passing along.
I got one a while back, from someone in the medical profession no less, claiming the information came from a report out of "John Hopkins University" I'm not really that well schooled as to medicine, but long ago I learned that it's "Johns Hopkins," Johns having been an old family name or something like that. Nearly all the content of the missive had been around for years, and been debunked by either or long ago. The rest of it was so hokey it screamed fake; yet it was sent on.
Others emails are a bit more difficult to debunk, but a few minutes of work will usually take care of it. Some of them are gut wrenching stories about a sick or injured child, a family in need, things like that. Some of them are even true, or at least were, but are generally inflated, and often so old that the sick child has recovered, and is now a married adult, or the family tragedy is long past! Some take on a religious slant, often about taking God out of our culture. Though the point is often valid, the stories are usually patently false.
It is particularly bothersome that most of these emails seem to be of interest to those on the conservative side of the political spectrum. I fear that those on "our side" of the political house who don't either take the time to do the research and thus pass on this drivel are merely fueling the fire of the liberals who deride us for being ignorant and naive.
So, let's pay attention to what we're sending on, huh? I don't send on anything I can't verify, or at least qualify as true to the best of my knowledge--I don't even read a lot of it. That means I just trash much of what I get. If it's not worth verifying, it's not worth passing on. Spreading false information only weakens the impact when we're right

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