Open Mike

By Michael Ullery

March 9, 2014

Truth. Facts.

Lies. Deception.

It hasn’t been that long ago that the saying, “Pictures don’t lie,” was pretty much an accurate statement.

Unfortunately, that is no longer the case as photographs, sometimes even journalistic photographs, are found to have been manipulated in order to deceive viewers.

The same is true for words.

The world is becoming an ever more scary place to live. We all realize that changes must be made. Conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, as well as everyone in between, can see that things in our country, and in our world, need to be done differently, in a variety of areas.

The problems lie … with lies.

For every person trying to make an honest attempt at moving forward with a legitimate idea, there are a dozen, perhaps a hundred, who will lie, cheat and steal in order to benefit themselves, or just for their own amusement.

Much of this is due to the Internet. No longer does someone have to be seen and recognized in public in order to publish their thoughts or opinions. They can now hide behind the anonymity that is the World Wide Web. We are no longer individuals who must own up to what we publish. We are IP addresses, fingers on a keyboard with no emotion, no consequences for the words, the claims - the falsifications and deceptions.

Perhaps the most prevalent deception these days is taking place on social media.

When it comes to the political arena, as “advertised” on Facebook and Twitter, I tend to believe maybe 10 percent of what I read.

Alleged quotes by political leaders and well-known personalities are, at best, mis-quoted and all-too-often, just made up.

Since there is no accountability to Internet “news” stories, writers, excuse me “Bloggers”, just make stuff up as they go, passing off their opinions and outright lies, as legitimate news.

I really would like to know, why they do this. Since it is difficult to even find the folks who are writing the stuff, it is nearly impossible to ask them. I would speculate that, if cornered, most would say that they believe that to be, well almost, what they heard, or saw, or believe to be the case.

I believe that most fabricate their lies in order to sway opinion about a subject to their favor. Even more disturbing is, I also believe, that a large percentage of these people make up their fiction, just to see what kind of reaction it gets. It is their twisted form of entertainment.

The problem is that the subject matter of most of the lies and fabrications is very serious. If I am going to form an opinion about if the president is right, or wrong, in a particular matter, I want to make my decision based on facts.

I may not agree with his policies. I may not think much of him as person. But I want to know that my feelings and my decisions are based on truth and facts, not skewed by lies.

I hope that the same is true for those whose opinions are opposite of mine. I would like to think that they are basing their decisions on true performance and deeds, not on emotional leanings.

The next time you are browsing through posts on Facebook, or other social media site, before you start “liking” the latest gossip or “news” story, ask yourself if what you are reading is really the truth, or could it possibly be someone playing with your head and your emotions, just because they can.