I can remember the first time "fake news" became a thing. Getting our news from the internet was still pretty new while I was in college. My freshman year of college I was browsing the internet, and a news reel popped up with a very brief story about how Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, famous twin, former child actresses, would be attending The University at Buffalo, my school.
It seemed plausible. They had just started their fashion careers out in NYC, wanted to stay in New York State, while also getting away for a bit. Or that's how the story went.
I called my parents back home, sitting on the floor outside my basketball locker room, thinking this was kind of cool. While telling them on the phone, an editor for The Spectrum, the college paper, was walking by. He stopped me as soon as I hung up, asking if this was true. His eyes wild, thinking he had a rare scoop. I just told him I'd read it on the internet.
It, of course, wasn't true. What I had failed to take into account was that it was April 1st, or Fool's Day, the original "fake news" day. Running fake news stories on April Fools has been somewhat of a social media tradition ever since. Only now, in more recent years, even the other 364 news days of the year are hard to believe.
I am not here to argue with you about the validity of the media, or which source is best at reporting facts. Because this actually isn't about them. The truth is, I feel that we all, as a society, really struggle with truths. We (and I sincerely mean we) often allow emotions and opinions to replace facts. Our feelings are our truths. Our perceptions are our realities. Our opinions become the facts. We find ourselves sharing whatever article, quote, or meme of the day tends to align with our beliefs, feelings, or opinions, without much thought as to whether or not it is true.
This is my call to action. I can be a complete fool. I have put my foot in my mouth, saying things just to fill the silence. I have spoken without thinking, without praying. And try as I might to avoid this, I have shared false facts via social media because they just seemed so believable. I have said things that didn't need to be said because I have allowed myself to be ruled by my own emotions and opinions. This is an area I strive to improve upon myself daily, in my relationships, with my children, and on social media.
Of course, I don't want to be a fool at all, even mistaken for wise. I pray for wisdom regularly. I even have to pray that God would remind me to seek Him more, so that I may gain wisdom and understanding, because (truth bomb), I have caught myself crawling into bed on crazy days I flew through, without talking to God at all, except for bedtime prayers with the kids. It happens!
I pray we can all find a little bit of peace in remaining silent, even when we feel we're right. You know the line, "fake it 'til ya make it?" This may be a great time to put that into practice. And while you're faking wisdom, be praying for it. We could all use a little more of that to navigate this world.
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
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