Media of any sort is a powerfully curious thing. But this thing called the internet, and its child, social media, is more than curious. It is downright dangerous.
I have noticed from observing the stats collected by WordPress for my blog site that I get far more hits when I post my reaction to current events than when I post a musing or something that has crossed my mind that is not relevant to a current controversy. If getting hits was my sole focus, the stats tell me that I should only write about things that are currently in the news, about currently trending topics. This seems like a waste.
There are millions of folks following each cresting wave, some of them on the front edge, some on the back side, but following the wave nevertheless. That may be why they call it surfing the web. Somewhere along the way, Google has found me, and I turn up on many folks’ searches when they search on a keyword or topic that I have included in the post description.
It is folly to always be following the curve. Sooner or later, someone has to get out in front of the wave to be the first. One can never do that by following.
It is somewhat alarming that so many take to the internet to find and sift out only what they already think, to search for only those things that line up with their preconceived notions about things and how they are. It is equally alarming that many rely on the internet to develop their opinions when so many things they read are click bait, half-true, and outright prevarications.
I am not smarter than the rest about picking out truth from fiction, but I do read with skepticism, believing little of what I read, trying to glean the good seeds from the pebbles they are strewn among. It is not easy.
News travels fast. Bad news travels faster. Scandals travel fastest.
As the great Mark Twain observed, “A lie travels half-way round the world before the truth can get its boots on.”
Be careful of what you read, including what you read here. As I have warned you before, I resort to exaggeration, creative invention, and outright fiction to serve my own ends in writing something I think is worth reading. I think the major news outlets and social media hubs do the same thing. The difference is that I have warned you.
©2016 Mississippi Chris Sharp