Email is a wonderful/terrible thing. Get an email from a friend who asks you to pass along some important message. Sometimes it tugs at your heart: a dying kid wanting post cards; an animal shelter for terribly abused pets; a wounded warrior who needs a helping hand. Other times, the email is a data dump of all the horrible things that someone has done—normally a politician, a religious personage, or someone folks love to hate—depending upon their mindset.
The more this type of email matches our beliefs, the quicker we are to click “send”. I am no exception. But now I realize this fact:
Danger! Danger! Danger!
I received one just the other day, itemizing all the ways a chief political figure is destroying the United States and our values. The email was a grave warning of the perils we face.
Something told me to stop and do some research.I checked these web sites:
Sure enough. The “data” was cherry-picked and incredibly wrong. Words were pulled out of sentences to make a completely inaccurate statement. A photo was used which was taken from a totally different venue and an inaccurate caption applied.
Here I am—in the communication and leadership arena and I was almost prey to a very wrong piece of communication: inflammatory, filled with intense negative emotion, and just the type of polarizing message that is pulling us into narrow camps of special interests.
None of us are immune. My personal take away—besides recommitting to checking things out—is to practice cutting thru flawed assumptions – including my own—by using this guide to rational thinking
Please tell me I am not the only one to have committed the error of “send-without-checking”.