What difference does it make?

What difference does what make?   That is the question of the day.

Daily, sometimes multiple times a day, we are presented with posts or emails asking us to share information (mis-information most of the time).   This information runs the gamut from being the ‘Let’s do something nice’ to posts about what someone supposedly said or did.     Why is this an issue you may ask and what difference does it make if you share it without verifying?

How often do we stop to ask ourselves if what we are about to share is really true and what the possible effects of sharing it might be?   Up until recently I only really thought about it if it was a claim that was either too good to be true, something I wanted to get involved in or something that didn’t quite measure up.

When we do stop to think about it do we check it out and see if it’s really true or do we just blindly share and not spare another thought?

Here is something for you to think about.   Words and pictures once shared can never be taken back.   They spread like wildfire, going out of control so fast your head won’t have time to spin.    So what’s the big deal you may ask.

Let’s start by looking at some relatively minor effects.  Everything that is shared takes up space.  It resides on a server somewhere for posterity.   Space is not free, someone somewhere (Advertising anyone?) is paying for that space.  It clutters up inboxes and newsfeeds, sometimes to the point you can’t read the stuff you are really interested in.  Ok, I can see where that might be a problem, but is that a really big deal?

That might not be a ‘really’ big deal, but other things are.   First and foremost, how is it going to affect the person, organization or group that is the subject of the email or post?   The effects on these range from the positive to the absolutely horrible.  Sometimes it gets a business or group noticed which can be a good thing.   However this is typically not the most common outcome.  In cases of ‘Let’s do something Good’, here is an example.   There is a post going around about sending cards to ‘Any Wounded Soldier’ at Walter Reed hospital.   This program was discontinued in 2006 for administrative and security concerns.   These cards and gifts are returned to the sender and of course Walter Reed has to pay for the shipping.   Plus the costs to pay someone to deal with all of this.   At a time when the medical care our soldiers are receiving is suspect, we can’t afford for hospitals to have to spend precious dollars on paying staff and postage to handle this.

What about posts about individuals?   Recognition can be great but in appropriate doses.   Just ask celebrities what happens when they become ‘famous’.   Think stalkers, over agressive fans, etc.   It can take people living a normal life and put them into a spotlight they don’t want and that can jeopardize them and their family.

And what about those posts that say negative things about an organization, group or individual?   The backlash is horrendous and many times goes way beyond what is appropriate for the ‘crime’.  But what if it’s not true?   People lose their jobs, family and sometimes their lives.

Are you willing to contribute to this?   Think about it and put yourself in their shoes?

I ask all of my readers, verify before you share,  you very well could be saving someones job, family or life.

What about

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