Yesterday on Facebook, a very nice girl I know left this message:
AMBER ALERT!!!! 3 YR OLD GIRL TAKEN BY A MAN DRIVING A NEW SILVER TRUCK PLATE #72B381 FROM STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA..KEEP IT GOING----CHANGE YOUR STATUS EVEN FOR JUST ONE HOUR!!!!!!
When I read that, I thought that maybe I should put that as my status message on Facebook too, so that I could pass that information along. But part of my nature is to check sources, so I googled it to see what I could find. I couldn't find any current Amber Alerts. I commented on her Facebook, "Where did you get this info?" Then another person replied, "I googled it, it's false." Somewhere along the line, someone had passed this on and other people read it and didn't check the source, but passed it along as truth. I was glad that I listened to that inner voice and checked my source before posting.
Recently I got myself in a bit of hot water with family members because I went to the source. I believe in communication. I don't think we should ever be afraid of communication, because lack of communication causes more problems. I also don't believe in keeping family secrets. I believe that we should talk openly about things. But at the same time, I think we should always check our sources.
Some years ago, I had an instance when someone passed something on to me about someone else. I asked the person involved the details, only to find out it was misinformation. Meanwhile, their reputation was at stake. I would not want to pass on information to anyone else that was wrong. I wouldn't want others to either. And if I ever do get some information wrong, I hope you will let me know. I recognize that I'm not perfect, and that I sometimes do misunderstand what you said, or I just remembered it wrong, or maybe I got it confused with something someone else told me. I often am hesitant to relate experiences of other people because I worry that I will be telling it wrong.
Usually when I am writing on my blog, I try to check sources carefully before I write. There was one time when I tried to double check a quote I had heard so I could post it on my religion blog. I was lazy in my search, and posted the quote without doing a thorough check. Wouldn't you know it, someone called me on it! I have tried ever since to always check my sources. But if you find that I have misquoted, or have posted misinformation, please let me know. But when you do, please include your sources. ;)