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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Think Before You Share

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Tony Tone
Tony Tone
Tony Tone has worked as a radio personality in Muscatine and the Quad Cities since 2006. He currently stars in the Hy-Vee Today show, serves as the store's Marketing and Merchandising Director, and writes Talk of the Town with Tony Tone for the Discover Muscatine newspaper.

We live in a world full of disinformation. I’m tired of opening the Facebook app and seeing blatant false stories shared. When did we stop reading before hitting the share button?

I’m also fully aware that some of you saw the headline for this column and didn’t take the time to read it before making up your mind about its contents. Seems like there has been a ramp-up over the last ten years or more. It is always best to do a quick search on an article, author, website, etc. before assuming it is legitimate information. This isn’t me being political either. We’ve certainly seen false stories on both sides of the proverbial aisle.

Can you imagine that there are folks whose job is creating false stories and getting them to go viral? How’s that conversation go at the holidays “Where do you work?” “Well . . . I’m in the technology field.”

I shudder at the amount of times I’ve seen a Facebook friend fall victim to a false story. Our current pandemic has fueled the misinformation fire and created a large division between people online. Some folks are calling this virus a hoax, while others lament about its severity.

If you follow me on social media, you know that I’m very much in the camp who trusts medical experts on this one. Newsflash, I’m not a doctor, and if anything, I tend to trust folks that are. Even if you’re skeptical, you can visit CDC.gov and educate yourself from a reliable source.

We’re all overwhelmed, and maybe the best advice I should give is to unplug for a bit. That’s truly the only way to avoid feeling trapped in the social media cycle.

For me, sitting on our deck listening to music while my kids play is so therapeutic. Children have the ability to not yet fully understand the magnitude of our current situation. I’m sure a couple of years from now my kids will ask me, “Dad what happened in 2020?”

My hope is to be able to answer that with “Well, a new virus came to the United States and it made a lot of people sick and cost a lot of people their lives, but we rallied together to do the right thing and trusted our medical experts that worked towards a cure.” Of course, the last part of that is something that I hope happens sooner rather than later.

I promise to continue doing my best when it comes to sharing things on social media. I’ll also work to keep this column as positive as possible. It serves no purpose for me to go negative in this space. Thank you for reading, keep your head up, your hands washed, and remember, we’re all in this together!

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