The modern truth

By Brooklyn McWhorter, Webmaster

We are Generation Z. Old enough to know what VHS tapes are, and young enough to never have needed them. With this worldwide boom of technology, anyone can share their voice, resulting in feelings bleeding into facts. It’s okay to develop feelings that support facts, but it is never okay to support your feelings by developing false facts.

Fake news is an epidemic in today’s society. Despite being an ancient parasite, it’s thriving in 2019 due to the rise of the internet. Never before in history until today has a random person been able to voice their opinions for millions to see with the click of a few buttons. Misinformation can spread like wildfire, causing hysteria. It’s simply a chain of people who refuse to do research on a headline or article before sharing it to their wall so another 200 people can see it. The only way to stop fake news is to break the chain.

Ponder before you post, think: “Is this a fact or a feeling?” Fake news can ruin lives and influence elections. It can destroy the beliefs of one group and develop the beliefs of another. It is up to the reader to differentiate between fact and fiction, but with the emerging culture of mandatory immediacy in the western world, no one bothers to do more than read the headline of a Facebook post, get offended and share. This toxic behavior leads to lies spreading like the Obama birther scandal, a conspiracy to get President Obama out of office by claiming he was born in Africa instead of America.

As Americans, it is also our civic duty to participate in elections. The truth is non-partisan. No matter where on the spectrum we may lie, we need to fight for it. The truth doesn’t wait for people’s approval or recognition.  The truth is precious and worthy of protection. It is the only concrete thing in this world, and when used properly, it can be the most powerful. We are coming of age in a world where you can’t readily trust everything we see or hear, and that’s just the reality of our plight. It’s on us as Americans to do our due diligence because if we won’t, then who will? If we don’t know what’s really happening in the world around us, then how are we supposed to make educated and informed decisions?

Too many adolescents feel that since they are under 18, politics and the government are things that only ail the middle-aged, instead of something that affects every aspect of their daily lives. The only way to change this is to change the way politics are taught in school. Children should be taught at a young age that their voices always matter, instead only being valuable when asked for. Children aren’t taught that their opinions are valuable, and those children grow up to be teenagers that don’t care about forming their own beliefs and they grow into adults that aren’t capable of making educated votes or generating independent thought.

All of these aforementioned problems are rooted in a single thing: lack of valuable and reliable information. To progress as a people, we need to learn and improve on ourselves as well as help others improve, and tearing rivals down with lies and alternative facts has not, will not and can not do that. The truth must prevail over all.