Why is it that people feel the need to forward so many e-mail that warn us of a never ending supply of topics ranging anywhere from supposed poisonings to an embarrassing faux pas by a political figure. In my experience it appears that if “they” see it in an e-mail then it must be true and without any more thought or investigation into the matter they hit the forward button and send it to everyone in their address book.
One of the most recent e-mails I received that fits into this “pet peeve” category pictures President Obama removing his shoes with a caption that indicates he was having a Muslim prayer meeting at the White House. Upon further investigation (which only took a few extra keystrokes on the keyboard) I discovered that the picture had been taken on Obama’s recent trip to Turkey (not inside the White House). He was visiting a mosque where it is required that everyone (even the President of the United States) remove their shoes before entering. This is not a political or religious statement on his part. If he and his wife had been entering a Catholic cathedral in Italy, more than likely Mrs. Obama would have had her head covered. If they had been entering a Jewish synagogue then the President would have had a yamaka on. My question is how many people would have believed this article had it appeared on the cover of one of the grocery store tabloid newspapers. I know some who would; but common sense tells the majority of the population to question the article and go to other sources for verification.
Now those of you who know me well know that I am not a fan of Obama; and if that statement bothers you please note that I was also not a fan of McCain. This post is not intended to be a debate of Democrat vs Republican. The point of this post is to try to raise awareness that “truth” is a lot more important in order to enable us to make wise and intelligent decisions and just to act like we have a brain at all. It is such a simple thing to take a few moments to verify the validity of information before spreading what in essence is just a rumor and in some cases malicious misinformation.
There are several ways to do this. The easiest to me is to enter the subject line of the email into any internet search engine followed by “Is this true” hit go. If you have never done this before you will be surprised with the results that appear. There are two websites that I use as well www.snopes.com and www.truthorfiction.com. I have found both to give good information. All I am asking is that you investigate first; and then if you still feel the need to share, then by all means go ahead and hit that forward button.
So now I will climb down off of my soapbox.