Monday, September 12, 2016

Caveat Emptor

This was printed in The Orlando Sentinel on September 9, 2016.

I used to believe everything on the Internet.

Silly me.

Everything you read there ain't necessarily so.

I went to the web to find out how many Grammys Stevie Wonder had won. There was a number. Turns out it was wrong.


Like that song goes, you have to shop around. You have to go to multiple sites to see if the answer or answers measure up. You can find all kinds of stuff on the Internet but that doesn't mean you should take it as gospel.

Since we’re talking…

In the old days as far as news went you had to be right on something you said. Now it seems you have to be first.

There's a difference.

I can say you're ten feet tall and have one eye in the middle of your forehead. Truth is I don't actually know that but what the hey.  

People react to what you say first and believe it. What people don't hear is the retraction the next day and what is not real becomes real.

Television is also full of people, talking over each other, determined to get their point across. It doesn't matter whether it's a truthful point or not. I'm not crazy about all the shouting but you know what I love? Every now and then real slips through the cracks and you see a real moment on the screen. All of a sudden the camera is just eavesdropping and folks say and do things you can't believe they say and do.

Also, I'm a Facebook guy and I dabble in Twitter. I also read newspapers, plural, because I like knowing things. What gets me every time are the comments people leave after an article or a post. Man, they can be mean. My mom used to say when we were young, "Be sweet." Obviously there are people out there who didn't hear that from their mothers. I think the anonymity helps folks write things they wouldn't say to your face. If they did, the next sound you'd hear is the sound of a fistfight.

If you had to write your real name and address, instead of barkingdog155, it would get real civil, real quick.


We're in the Age of Innuendo. 

People can say, "I've heard..." about someone and repeat it as if it's true. They used to call that gossip. In junior high or high school that kind of stuff can get you on a list you don't want to be on. People say things about other people these days that are fishy at best and they say them like they're not.

Be careful what you believe.

The saying is caveat emptor.

Buyer beware.

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