We used to be more diligent about information we receive because we had time to think about what we were hearing and reading but now we’ve packed in so many things into our day in the life that we accept things on the fly. I find things every day that news networks share that isn’t correct.
Not long ago there was a report that is being used in a commercial today about parents needing to use their vacation days; it features kids shocked that their parents give those days away; anyhow they say in the report that approximately 400,000,000 vacation days aren’t used each year. Now this is any easy one…how in the world would they know this? I’ve given up vacation days and I know there isn’t any organization that knew about it besides my company. I know this sounds ridiculous but these types of things are all around. Now I’m not saying you do it, but many people would take this information and be amazed there are so many vacation days not used.
Here are some of the areas where reports are shared that can manipulate our thoughts and like I said, each day is filled with them…
1) Where’s the data coming from, for example if the information is coming from California or New York, how in the world would it apply to us?
2) What is the data’s integrity? Since I research a lot I’ve come across many instances where one report was based on another report that was based on another report, etc. I’ve had to go through report after report to find where the original data came from and whether the information was legitimate.
I’ve mentioned this before but one time I heard a report by ABC News (Diane Sawyer) that bashed Fox New and it sounded strange to me so I performed due diligence and found they were using a report from the Huffington Post (maxed out contributor to the Democrat’s coffers), that was based on a report from a small college in New Jersey. I contacted the college and found they surveyed 600 people in their area. Think about this. Sawyer treated it as national news when it wasn’t. I ended up talking to the associate producer of the nightly news and he apologized admitting they don’t vet reports like they used to as news is coming in so fast these days because there are so many sources, way beyond the their days of just having the AP and UPI. I did appreciate his honesty.
3) Who and why was a report generated because someone paid for the information. I worked in the world of marketing and I can’t tell you how many times I caught companies spinning data…my company wouldn’t allow this which was dicey in dealing with some of our clients. We never lost a client due to these reasons so we did help change ethical standards (my company has won numerous “Ethics in Business Awards”).
Slightly off topic but in line with the overall theme is when you conduct research on line to find things like the best restaurants in your area. Many companies contact the web provider who generates the report that you pull up and they pay to get on “the best” list. Of course they pay way more if they get on the top of the list. So in this case you’re innocently searching for information that isn’t valid. It’s important for us to look at everything with something in mind; most things are about influence and power because both can be sold.
Now back to the three sides to every coin. Have you ever been amazed that a coin drops and stands up or you’ve stood it up on a table and spun it? Congratulations you’ve seen the third side to a coin. Something very simple but I think a great example of what I’m talking about. We get too busy to think anymore and it’s hurting our country. News networks and their news cycles direct our thoughts. Think about how huge the Ferguson, Missouri story was and then it was dropped and we stopped talking about it. Like I said they control our thoughts…scary.
News networks have more influence and power than anything else in the world so we need to have our head on a swivel so to speak. Life is moving so fast so I understand why it’s difficult to really think whether something is legit but my recommendation is if anything is important don’t accept the information as the truth dig into it a little more; for example if you watch Fox News maybe double check an important story and the way they spin it on CNN. Critical thinking must become part of our existence again.
If there is anything you’d like for me to check out for you just let me know; I have some people doing this with me because they are way busier than I am; mostly to legitimize information they received. . I love research so it would be no problem to help you out.
Keep your head on a swivel!