It’s been around a few years, but I love that State Farm commercial with the girl who’s talking to her friend in the street and her “hot” French model date walks up muttering, “Uhhh…bonjour.” Naturally they are talking about State Farm and how the company doesn’t provide apps.
“Where did you hear that?”
“The internet. You can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true.”
I’m reminded of this now more than ever. ‘Tis the season for posting all kinds of fact-finding images and attention-grabbing stunts online: which organizations you should or shouldn’t donate your money to because this one or that one may have done something questionable in the past, photoshopping your face onto a Nelson Mandela hug photo, Jimmy Kimmel’s epic twerking stunt, forwarding ancient emails with advice from cops on how to not get kidnapped, robbed, blah blah blah.
Of course, this stuff is not new and I usually just laugh it off because people like to get noticed and let’s face it – that girl twerking upside down who set herself on fire was pretty hilarious. However, the past several months it’s started to affect my job because I frequently talk with folks who have found false information about my employer online and they take it as gospel rather than taking time to find out the truth. Again, this situation is not new. When I worked for Yelp, it was a daily mission helping users and business owners understand what the company was all about and how to use it.
Knee-jerk reactions and beliefs are natural (particularly when information comes from legitimate media sources) but cause me to wonder:
- Why would you spend your time actively trying to bring someone down rather than focus on your own well-being and prosperity?
- Why would you trust hearsay on the internet rather than doing your own research and coming to your own conclusions?
I suppose the answer is laziness and most people’s willingness to believe everything they hear or see online. But don’t we all know better than this?
Let me get back to forwarding my chain letter so I don’t croak in three days!