By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
President Donald Trump is the worst president this country has ever seen. His antics make Gerald Ford look non-clumsy and well put-together.
Ok, do I believe that? No, I don’t…to be honest, it would be impossible to judge a “worst” president. There are too many parameters, and it really doesn’t matter. This commentary isn’t about President Trump at all.
Did I get you? Did you read the headline and topic sentences and start gathering your comments and fake news memes to respond to me before you even read the rest of this? I’m sure some readers probably did comment on this and have no idea that it’s just a test.
How many times do we see, on social media, people commenting on articles that they’ve never read. It’s very, very common to read a comment within a thread on Facebook asking, “Did you even read the article?” Many times, the answer is no.
Ray Bradbury, 20th Century American author and screenwriter, once noted, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
While I’m not talking about reading books in this commentary, his thoughts ring true to this discussion. Too many times people go off on others in online debates without having any knowledge of what they’re even debating. Commenting on an article without reading the entire article is like trying to play basketball without ever having learned the rules. It doesn’t make any sense.
We all have opinions, and these days, people’s opinions and sides are stronger than they have been in my lifetime. It’s not uncommon for discussions on Facebook threads to turn ugly quickly if you have people on different sides of an issue. Mention the worst four-letter word in our dictionary at the moment – race – and you’ve got a full-scale war brewing.
One news outlet, NRKbeta in Norway, has experimented with an idea that I think is brilliant. They have been requiring readers to take a quiz on an article before commenting on it. “We thought we should do our part to try and make sure that people are on the same page before they comment. If everyone can agree that this is what the article says, then they have a much better basis for commenting on it,” Stale Grut, a NRKbeta journalist, was quoted as saying in an article on Niemanlab.org.
A Forbes magazine article from three years ago entitled “59 percent of you will share this article without even reading it” brought up some interesting points. In the piece, Jayson DeMers wrote, “A recent study (‘Social Clicks: What and Who Gets Read in Twitter’) confirmed this phenomenon isn’t in our heads; in fact, 59 percent of all links shared on social networks aren’t actually clicked on at all, implying the majority of article shares aren’t based on actual reading. People are sharing articles without ever getting past the headlines.”
This isn’t surprising, but it is sad. I think we’ve all seen people share articles and memes that seem to contradict one another as to their message. The above phenomenon would explain such behavior.
In closing, just read the articles or scroll past without commenting on them if you’re not interested. And, when commenting, remember to remain respectful – not just here on the One Feather page but everywhere. Hall of Fame baseball player, the late Jackie Robinson summed it up best when he once said, “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me…all I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”