A recent study reveals some interesting truths about the way we share news across social media. Do you just share whatever without even realizing what’s behind it?
[Steve Myers] We know that Christians are supposed to be sharing kind of people, but what do you share, especially when it comes to the things you may see on the internet?
It was an interesting study that was done by Columbia University and the French National Institute. What percentage of links that are shared on social media do you think have never actually been read? People are sharing links, but do you think they’ve read the article behind the headline? Do you know what percentage of people do that with never reading?
They found in this study fifty-nine percent of the people who shared a link never really read the information behind it. In other words, people retweet the news without ever really reading it themselves. And on top of this, what they found that was also interesting – this determines what news or so-called news gets circulated. And they’ve also found that it’s impacted political things; it’s impacted cultural things; it’s impacted people’s perspective and reshaped those things. And yet, the information behind the headlines was never really understood. And so that’s a scary thing. One of the study’s co-authors said this: “People are more willing to share an article than to read it.”
That can be a pretty scary thing when you think about it. Do we do that? We’ve got to be really careful, especially as Christians, not to be doing that. We don’t want to fall into this majority of people who just share whatever without even realizing what’s behind it.
I think there’s a proverb that connects with this. It’s in Proverbs 14:15. Here’s what it says: “The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps.” Now, we may not even believe the headline, and if we read the article, we certainly not believe it, or maybe we would. But the point gets to the heart of the matter. We want to think more deeply. God wants us to think deeply, not just on the surface, not just with a sound byte, not just with a headline. Let’s be sure we don’t fall into that problem and be prudent people that really consider our steps, consider our shares, and we’ll be better people for it.
That’s BT Daily. Thanks for watching.