How quickly do you throw a LIKE on Facebook or a FAVORITE on Twitter? Do you ever click on the link and read the article or does the title grab you and make you feel you need to share it?
We're all slaves to limited hours in the day and some people are jumping on and off social media quickly whenever they can. I will declare my guilt. There are times a topic seems important to me and I want to share it and I do without looking into it more. However if something seems really important to me - I often try and investigate first. (Notice I say 'try' - I'm not always great at my own advice.)
Here are a few social media tips around this topic that might help:
1) Slow down. Remember you are endorsing that topic and should be prepared for others to engage you in conversation because of it. Are you going to be able to take a stand one way or the other?
2) If it's truly controversial, do a search to make sure another news outlet is covering that same story. Anyone can print anything on the web. (I'm doing it right now.) Post the news source that is more trusted and not the ones that will simply upset your friends because of the chosen headline.
3) Hit up Snopes! They can often be a great source to disprove that bandwagon all of your friends are jumping on. News travels like wildfire and maybe you can be the one to post that it's already been debunked and throw water on it until the next fire starts up.
4) Read the date on the link. Things start to trend again (for some reason) because everyone starts sharing without…duh, duh, duh…clicking on the link. (That's how James Garner showed up as dying again the past few days when..God rest his soul, he died last July.)
5) Stop and decide if it's worth getting in a fight over before hitting the share button. I'll admit - I share A LOT - usually something about Theater, Film, Writing, Equality, Autism - but I've found that some of my topics upset some of the people that only follow me because of another topic. If you are a person that doesn't care what others think about you (I bow to your strength), disregard #5 on my list.
RIP, James Garner (again).
That kid that was missing has been found while we were all posting about the Amber Alert.
The food recalled has been declared fine to eat again.