Can You Make Sense Out Of Everything You Read And Hear About?
The most confusing things in the world are what you hear about and what you read about. Why is that? If it's a story, shouldn't the story be the same regardless of where you find it? Not so much. This is the single most important issue in the world of today's media. Whether it be in print or on the news, this is not that much of an issue for your local news because your local news station or newspapers have reporters that can report on what happens locally. In many cases, major new media networks have affiliates across the country and the globe investigating what is happening nationally or internationally. They also get their information from many different newswire services.
One might think if everyone is getting the same story from the same newswire, the reported or written stories should be the same. However, they often are not. Let's take a look at why and what you need to do to be sure what you are reading is accurate because, let's face it, the news media drives what people think. They actually form our opinions for us based on how they report something.
WHAT TYPE OF PERSON ARE YOU?
Basically, there are two types of people. Those who believe everything they read or hear and those trying to verify some facts may be important. They do this because the second type of individual does not like others forming opinions for them. They prefer to choose what the truth is for themselves. The old saying; believe half of what you read, and nothing about what you hear has merit. It's a well-known fact that people have lost a great deal of faith in news networks. You may be one of them. I know I am.
Many years ago, I started to see one story reported in many different ways on different platforms. I knew it was time to research things before I believe them. The opinions of various doctors on CDC Guidelines and other guidelines are a perfect example. Let's use the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine as an example. The FDA pulled it for 14 days due to the rare occurrence of blood clots in women. Now think about this. Out of seven million doses administered, 15 cases of blood clots occurred. After careful evaluation, the FDA released the vaccine for use, stating that the benefits outweighed the risks although the risk was present. Therefore, they required a warning label to be placed on the vaccine, and those administering it had to explain these possible risks to recipients. In a poll conducted by ABC, they reported that 73% of those not vaccinated said they were unwilling to accept a Johnson and Johnson shot. One must ask themselves, do they want to be number 16? However, other polls showed different numbers. Here is the link to the ABC article if you are interested. ABC NEWS ARTICLE.
Therefore, who are we to believe. Of course, we also have the; "my friend isn't doing it, so I'm not" mentality. Therefore, how do we decide, rather than having doctors in interviews, who, by the way, cannot agree amongst themselves, guide us on what we should do? A few days ago, on three different networks, I saw three different doctors interviewed, and each had a different opinion. Now, opinions are like rear ends. Everyone has one, but if you need to choose one, which one do you choose? Who is correct, and who is not? The "study of medicine" is just that. A study. Those in medicine are constantly learning, and medical science is always evolving. What we believe is true today may not be true months from now as we learn more. However, we also must take into account that, at times, something to help someone is better than nothing at all, so the FDA is correct. The benefits may, in fact, outweigh the risks. Let's be clear. I AM NOT SAYING TO TAKE THE J&J VACCINE. I am only stating the facts and research. That choice is yours. My point here is that we receive a great deal of conflicting information, so who should you believe? Every keyboard should have a research key that takes you to a website where you could search for all types of research because when placed in this situation, raw data and research are where you will find your answer. However, people are so busy with life, very few actually do the research.
I must state, these types of reporting conflicts do not just occur with the Covid-19 situation. They occur in almost everything that is reported. Therefore, we need to understand why. In a perfect world, reporting should be fair, equal, and unbiased. However, it's not a perfect world. If I see a comedian or professional athlete or even watch an interview with an entertainer, I could care less about their political views. I am paying to see you perform, not hear your political views just because you have a captive audience. Therefore, nothing, and I mean nothing, is sacred in today's society, especially reporting accurate news. We all know regardless of who you wanted as President, you could watch several major news media outlets and clearly see how they were biased toward one candidate or the other, actually, to the point of NOT reporting certain things that other networks had. So think about that. If someone was an avid viewer of only one media network, are they getting the full and accurate story? Of course, not.
Let me give you another example, but first, let me remind you none of this is my opinion. It is purely the facts. For these reasons, I watch four major news media networks. I am shocked and appalled at the data and statistics that are oftentimes reported. The example I am sighting is regarding types of people shot by police officers since that is now a trending topic almost every day on every news station. Here is a link to accurate data. DATA. This data is as of March 31, 2021. All we hear about on the news is the number of black individuals that police officers shoot. THIS IS NOT A BIASED STATEMENT. IT IS A FACT. I will fully concede that some were unnecessary and some may not have been, and let me be clear.
THE UNJUSTIFIED SHOOTING OF ANYONE IS UNACCEPTABLE, REGARDLESS OF RACE, COLOR, OR CREED.
With that said, in the first three months of 2021, around 14% were black individuals. Again, I am NOT stating that is acceptable. However, what I am saying is what about the other 86% that are not black. We never hear about those. Therefore, when we constantly hear or read about only black individuals that police officers shoot, it is natural that we will form opinions about police officers that they only shot unarmed black men, which, factually, is NOT the case. We are also not informed that out of that 14%, how many were unjustified? We all know that in many cases, it may have been a justified shooting. So what's next? To be properly informed, you must do some research or not allow your opinions to be structured by others. Of course, this is your choice. However, I would like to think that our society is made up of sensible and responsible individuals.
I am fortunate and blessed to have a diversified group of friends. And yes, when we are together, we talk about many things. However, we respect each other's opinions, but we do get deadlocked at times on our different views. Rather than get into arguments, we refer to the facts.
Why? Because the facts are the facts. The raw and real data that doesn't lie or show bias because THAT IS WHAT MAKES SENSE and how we choose to resolve these different opinions intelligently. You know, when it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and looks like a duck, it is a duck. So now you are in the hot seat and have to choose what or what not to believe. Or, maybe you don't care, which is fine too. However, if you don't care, you shouldn't;t have an opinion and certainly not cause an argument or disagreement over the topic being discussed. I used to have a student that did not care about whatever issues were going on. He used to say, if it doesn't directly affect me, I could care less. Yet, he would always have an opinion and have something to say about it during a class discussion. One day after our lecture hall, I asked him to stay behind. I asked him why he always stated he doesn't care when I would call upon him t answer a question, yet, he always had something to say? He replied; I like to see people get riled up. Needless to say, he failed my class. The last time I heard of him, he was working as a not-so-well respected activist.
Another interesting platform. I'm on a few social media [platforms because you can't beat the exposure. However, what are your thoughts on social media platforms banning people because of their opinions or political views? Again, another issue that's opinion-based versus what is right or wrong. I get it. Every social media platforms have their guidelines, which they have the right to have. I constantly make sure that my posts fall within those guidelines because that's the RIGHT thing to do. The terms I agreed to when using their platform. I also understand that it is impossible, even with the best metrics in place, to monitor the billions of posts made each day. However, I must ask myself. When I receive daily requests from users for a friend request or follow request, which I look at very carefully first and find far too many of them to be a scam pornographic account showing the most disgusting and revealing pictures, I immediately block them. I do not want my name or reputation associated in any way with those types of accounts.
So I ask you, where is the censorship there? Why is this not violating any guidelines? And trust me, there are thousands upon thousands of them out there. The term "Offensive or Intimidating content." I think that everyone would agree that those accounts are both offensive to many and intimidating to others. Therefore, is fairness and equality? Do you think it is right that some individuals are banned, or other accounts such as those mentioned can continue? Some argue that it is up to the people since they are adults (but are they all adults) to decide whether they want to engage with those accounts or not. Well, if's that's the case, shouldn't adults be able to choose to follow politically who they choose to as well, regardless of their views? Social media platforms enjoy certain protections under the law. This protection affords them many liberties. Should they actually have them if they are not going to be fair, equal, and unbiased? These are things for you and far more intelligent legal minds than mine to determine. For me, I follow the rules I agreed to when setting up my accounts.
My main point is that (the previous questions are for you to decide for yourself), how do these actions affect people's minds? How do the perceived, and that is what they are, perceived impressions of how social media platforms treat account users to affect the opinions in the minds of others? Should any social media platform pick and choose who will be censored based on what they disagree with? It will be interesting to see how all this plays out, what will be swept under the rug, what will surface, and the outcomes. Notice, I did not give any opinion on this subject. Why? Because I believe it is my purpose to offer you the truth, the facts, and reality. It is NOT my purpose to sway your thinking, influence your opinion, and make you form one. Each person should only be presented with the facts, the truth, and the complete story and NEVER in a biased manner or be influenced by any form of media to form an opinion based on their own. Opinions are one of the God-given rights we all receive at birth. It is a right that is greatly disrespected by depriving people of the right to properly form their own opinion based on the way things are reported.
Decades ago was life was easier, and I say easier not because it was financially easier. Many times it was not. Because times were different, technology was different, and opportunities were different. How many of you remember when nothing except police, fire, EMS, hospital, and one pharmacy were the only things open on a Sunday. At least in Connecticut. If you didn't get gas on a Saturday night and ran out over the weekend, you were screwed. Stores were closed on holidays and closed at noon the day before a holiday. Holidays were for family, not making money. Therefore, in today's world, life is too busy for most, and that is widely taken advantage of on many fronts. Why? Because for people, it is easier to believe what you read or hear. It requires no additional work. However, in my opinion, it is leading to a form of social disaster., and in many cases, even worse. Online scams and privacy breaches are on the rise. Like cell phone numbers. What good is the do not call list or having an unlisted number if you are forced to import your information because that little red * tells you this field is required? Of course, you know your phone number and email will probably be sold or shared in the form of mailing lists and phone number lists? How many of you remember the days of no junk emails or no phone call solicitors on your home, and especially your cell phone?
IF YOU SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG OR SUBMIT A QUESTION THROUGH OUR CONTACT US FORM, YOUR PHONE NUMBER AND EMAIL WILL NEVER BE SOLD OR SHARED. NEVER.
I take great pride in making that statement and stand by it. Let me give you an example. In my book on domestic violence, female abuse, and child abuse, this book appeared in numerous women's magazines globally and was globally supported. During my years as a paramedic and accounts as told to me by victims during my speaking engagements and volunteer work as an advocate AGAINST domestic violence, the book is about true stories during my years. I made a promise that I would NEVER mention a name, location, date, or time of any incident in the book, and I did not. I also promised these individuals that I would never compromise their identity under any circumstances or in any way. To this day, I have not and never will. Without mentioning these shows, this book of true stories about real people with real people made such an impact that three major syndicated talk shows contacted my agent to have me on as a guest to talk about my book, but I had to bring a victim along. Honestly, that could have made the book sales fly off the charts, and I could have made a great deal of money doing that. However, if you ever spoke to these women and saw the embarrassment in their eyes and understood the mental and physical trauma they endured, there was no way I would even consider asking one of them, and I did not. I remembered every tear I shed while caring for these victims as a paramedic and speaking to these men. To exploit them for money for me is unthinkable. I made a promise, and I kept it, regardless of the great potential financial loss. I remember my agent saying to me; you are hurting your own book sales by doing this. I didn't care. Life is not only about money, and a friend of mine who owns a funeral home once said to me;
"I've buried them black, white, and every color. I buried the rich as well as the poor, and they all have one thing in common. No one takes anything with them." - TK.
So what you have is what you have in life. Your self-respect, dignity, pride, and being true to who you are, what you say, and what you believe in. Your moral compass. When you have lost any of those things, you have to live with yourself, and no amount of money can repurchase them. That is why I am proud to stand by my statements and promises.
Each one of us will form an opinion and have to choose would that opinion we be. However, we have lost the ability to form an opinion solely based on what we read and hear on the news. Should we do that, we are not fair to others, and certainly not being fair to ourselves because one day, you will get into a conversation with a group of people that may be more informed and make you look stupid. So to answer the question, "IS IT ACTUALLY POSSIBLE?" The answer is yes. It is possible to make sense of what we read and hear and form an opinion, and more importantly, an accurate one. One that you can feel comfortable choosing. The other saying that is also true is;
EACH SIDE HAS AN OPINION, AND SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE LIES THE TRUTH.
Allow me to close by saying that I refer to media networks quite a bit in this post. I am not knocking the individual networks or journalists. However, I am questioning the practice of what journalism has evolved into. I believe that a news network and journalist has a great responsibility. I also hold myself to that high standard as the writer of a blog, and that standard is to report or write fairly, equally, and without bias. With that said, every network and journalist is entitled to their opinion. However, as I do, they should clarify when they report their opinion versus the facts. Only then can those reading the writings or listening to the reports can you properly disseminate the facts versus opinions.
Stay safe and be well. Thank you.
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