Excuse me while I climb up onto a soapbox. Ummph. Arghhh. Humppph! Gee its high up here. 🙂
One of my pet peeves about the media, and within that framework, I include all forms of social media is how we accept lying so readily. Even within Christian circles, those for whom ‘Truthfulness’ is supposed to be a virtue; we are readily to speak, listen to or support a lie; while at the same time, arguing against the lies of those we are engaging against.
In this context, I refer to the “Headline” in which prefaces our article, report, photo, status etc. It’s well known that a great headline or title can contribute towards the making or breaking of a post. Simply put, sensationalism sells. However, within a modern era where the Christian ethic is battling against the idea that truth is all relative – as people of the truth, I believe its time that we stand up for the truth and refuse to settle for anything else.
Personally I find it hard to get past an articles headline; whether it be a blog post or a newspaper article. I don’t care if the article or report speaks of an important issue. I don’t care if it makes pertinent points that you wish me to engage with, or has information you want we to read – if the headline that is used, is an actual lie, or its premise is based on a lie. I rarely bother reading any further.
Granted perhaps some of my issue is a generational one. I was born in the mid 60;s. So I can fall into the generation of being a late Baby Boomer or a early Gen X. One of the distinctive markers between those two generations and Gen Y is that Baby Boomers like to discuss “Truth” and Gen X are not so concerned about discussing “Truth” but instead are more interested in getting on with the business of changing the world. Perhaps its this distinction which drives much of the media we feed on today. Sensationalism sells. It doesn’t matter what form of sensationalism we use, if it furthers our cause, then lets use it to our advantage.
But, I find it interesting, that though we are happy to use a sensational headline to promote our cause – often the intention of the article is to inform or refute that which is purported by others. In other-words, we are the ones telling the truth and it is they who are lying. But I ask the questions, “Why are we so loose with the truth?” “Why is it, that we use, bend or distort the truth for our own purposes, while at the same time, willing to accuse another of lying?”
Lets call it what it is, “If its a lie, it is a lie! It’s dishonest! And if we tell a lie, then that makes us liars. In our battle to stand against a dishonest world, let us ensure that we don’t use the worlds methods to change it – instead, lets begin with our own inward and outward ethic of being rigorously honest.