An escaped lion mauled a man in Central Park today.
What’s wrong with that statement? Well let’s start with the truth. This is not a fact. This is an example of fiction I’m using to demonstrate why the media needs to stop. This is also why social media needs to stop.
One person may read that statement as
A lion escaped from the Central Park zoo and mauled someone!
which in this case would be incorrect. I learned while writing at a young age that headlines mean everything. We are among the age of skimmers, browsers, and multi-taskers. The statement should’ve been written as
A lion cub escaped the home of a circus trainer today and cut a man near the Central Park zoo.
It changes the entire fact. Now PETA can go after the true criminals and not try and boycott the zoo or its workers. We also know it was a cub and did not maul anyone. This statement leaves a lot less for the speculative media to run with. Ruling by fear becomes a lot harder.
Speculation is causing a phenomenon across social media. We are no longer fact checking, proof reading, or questioning as much as we should. So much information is passed out so quickly that we just sit back and watch. The truth can take weeks to finally show and by that time the damage is done. The world has changed and I don’t like it! Facts matter. Facts can start wars; misconstrued facts can start irreconcilable differences of opinion so deep that the feud may never end.
We live in a land of confusion. Phil Collins said it best but his generation didn’t deliver either. The men of power are losing it by the hour, but what’s to be done? I feel we need to put it in the hands of our children now. Right now. They can most likely setup states and government better than we ever could dream. Who knows… At least it’s worth a try.