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Feb 5, 2020
Man Bites Dog

Man Bites Dog

How many times have we seen a headline and become instantly outraged? So much so that rather than read the actual story we immediately launch into a tirade about what we interpreted the headline to mean which may or may not have anything to do with the story.

Take for instance the story this week of the parents protesting at a school in Rio Claro. One parent cleverly constructed a sign with almost all the words spelled wrongly to prove the point of how critical an education is.

The response from the public was almost instantaneous and almost totally erroneous. These social media geniuses, in an attempt to attack the lady's apparent illiteracy, totally misunderstood the message and instead exposed their own obtuseness.

There was also a recent story with the headline "Gas deals with Venezuela off" that people were quick to panick and were asking "where are we going to get gas now?" Running around like the sky is falling. Ammm 'eee-d-yat' if you read the story you'd know Trinidad and Venezuela would just develop the gas fields independently.

People tend to get upset at sensational headlines and say it's the media's fault that people misunderstand the story or message. Is it really though?

To me there is no issue once it's not click bait. Click bait is a headline that is totally unrelated to anything in the story and is usually so unrealistic it's ridiculous. So a headline that reads "Soca Monarch Receives an International Award for Quality Production" is the perfect example of click bait.

A headline or a picture is meant to draw a reader in. It's the advertising that goes along with a story. It's not meant to be the sole point of decision making for a reader. I am always guilty of using headlines and pictures to make people wonder what the H E double hockey sticks I'm going on about now.

As the reader it is your responsibility, and this might be controversial, to READ. I have always said that one of the biggest travesties in this country is that we've wasted billions of dollars on free education for the masses who refuse to use it and that instead we should have planted pigeon peas or invested more in exporting zaboca.

The other problem is the people that have a faster internet connection than the synapses between the neurons in their brain who don't fact check anything. You know, these are the people always sharing fake news or articles written 5 years ago and acting like it's breaking news.

So the next time you see a headline, before you react or share indiscriminately, why not try the following:


2. Check the date of the article to see how recent it is.

3. Google the details to see if it checks out.

4. Phone a friend to see if you understand the article correctly or if you're way off base because you didn't take your meds.

That way the rest of us don't label you as fully dunce.


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