I love the internet.
It’s making us smarter.
In a matter of minutes, I found out how wheat was harvested and tied into bundles in the 19th century, how to put on an Indian sari, how false teeth were made in the 1700s, and how to say key phrases in the Malayalam language.
I detest the internet.
It’s making us stupider.
In the past week, I’ve gotten notices about the death of both Dolly Parton and Bill Cosby, warnings that Obama is a foreign born Muslim who refuses to sign Eagle Scout certificates, that Sarah Palin demanded a list of books be banned from the Wasilla library, and that Obama was sworn into the senate on the Koran because he would not touch a Bible. I also got a news flash about a young thief in Iran who was punished by having a truck run over his arm, and another about a boy who came within a hair’s breadth of dying from an out-of-date pancake mix. I got several pleas to pray for a 22-month old child who shot himself in the chest with a nail gun. Yesterday, I was warned to beware of the UPS guy because terrorists have stolen a bunch of their uniforms and any day one of them might be showing up at my door.
Okay, folks, let’s all take a collective deep breath. All these panic items are false.
We mustn’t be too quick to look around us and chortle, “Hmmm… Time to thin the herd.” There’s too great a danger of being caught by one of those bright-red-all-caps, urgent and forward to everyone messages. Then we just could end up one of those on the thinning floor.
Fortunately, God gave us the ability to discern. As well as—ta da!—the internet!
Wonder about the truth of that urgent warning you just received? Does some persistent nagging question keeps coming back to you? Here are some places where you can check fact versus myth (and in many cases, also see how the rumor got started).
“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge, myth is more potent than history, dreams are more powerful than facts, hope always triumphs over experience, laughter is the cure for grief, love is stronger than death.”