“Jean, Jean, made a machine. Jo Jo made it go. Art, Art, he blew a fart, and blew the whole damned thing apart.” (Attribution unknown.)
I’ve given up. No matter how often or how kindly I’ve tried to encourage my friends on Facebook to do their due diligence and research before blind-posting things, the rumors keep spreading. Yes my fine young readers, you know which rumors I’m talking about. Things like Facebook charging for access, some girl named Amy Bruce dying of Cancer, this October having some 5-5-5 configuration only once every 823 years, little lost kids being used by rapists to lure victims…“and the hits just keep on coming.”
The reason that it’s growing is because it seems like people would rather believe the lie than hear the truth, or try finding out the truth before spreading the lie. On Facebook, this is happening with increasing frequency. I find myself trying to understand just why it is that people, including those I know to be intelligent people would unwittingly help to propagate these false stories. I’ve already lost one friend (just last night, and it was a vicious betrayal, let me tell you!) over this kind of thing. I don’t want to lose any more, so I’ve decided to keep my mouth shut, at least on Facebook. Here on my WordPress blog however, it’s my show, and I don’t have to “shut up.”
I’ve always tried to espouse the seven Army values. These are; Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless service, Honor, Integrity and Personal courage. Notice that if you take each first letter, they spell out the acronym “LDRSHIP.” The U.S. Army grooms leaders, or at least they try to. For those of us who honestly adopt these values and do our level best to live by them, we can be effective leaders, parents and spouses. The value that applies in this case, is Integrity.
Given the choice between the easy path of believing and spreading the lie, and the more difficult path of de-bunking the lie and spreading the truth, I would always choose the latter. It’s just who I am. The only problem with that is what one is supposed to do when the majority doesn’t seem to give a “hoot and a holler.” That’s where a lot of us that try to exercise values of integrity are finding it hard to truly make the difference.
By the way, Facebook isn’t going to charge for access anytime soon. There IS NO Amy Bruce, and the “Make A Wish” Foundation does NOT raise money for medical costs. Octobers with 5-5-5 happen with much more frequency, the last time being 2005, the next will be 2022. Rapists would never use the “little lost kid” method, because it robs them of the power to pick their victims.
“I think I’ll write my congressman,
and tell him to pass a bill;
the next time they catch
somebody starting rumors, shoot to kill”
(Timex Social Club, from the 1986 release, “Rumors”.)