The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Concerned Over Stories Out of Context

We have a problem in social media of information out of context. Often, this takes the form of news stories told more to excite passion than to inform. A dramatic bit of footage is pulled and part of a tale is told. It is something simple, easily told. It is something that makes you angry or excited or whatever else the author intended. It is a detail adrift, without the complexities of "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey used to say.

This has the potential to be extremely dangerous. Out of context, information can become a tool for violence. Compelling images and a short, angry story can incite riots. It is the equivalent (yes, one time worn cliche here) of shouting fire in the theater and watching the ensuing havoc. The problem is, of course, people can be injured or killed when this is done, especially if it is done well. This is definitely true in an age when we rip and read our news from media tailored to our personal biases, media that panders to our personal prejudices and does not try to truly educate us (much harder and less profitable, thank you very much).

Next time you see an inflammatory story, before hitting "share" and passing it along, use that computer for research and find out if there is more to the story than you imagine. That might take us all to some surprising places. Of course, if it's the next cute kitty video ... well, that's different. Please don't send that. I've got plenty.

Have a beautiful and informed day.


Bren Murphy said...

Loving your pictures and the authentic and original way you have put your story across - you're an inspiration and I am following your journey - awesome work!

J.S. Brooks said...

Thank you Bren. Your comment and your readership are both much appreciated.