Rumor Has it

Friday, October 5th 2012 Culture

There is a new hobby that has been floating around lately, and it sometimes leads to horrible endings. “Rumors”. With all kinds of social media, people can spread a rumor in a second, and it could reach tens of people in a blink of an eye. But, is it always true? Why would people spread it in the first place? And should we keep spreading them?

Whenever I get any kind of message about a new kind of cure for Cancer, it actually interests me because it is a horrible, deadly disease, and I lost both parents to it. But, before I get too excited about it, I ask myself, if this is so true, how come it did not reach the TV networks and newspapers already? So I go back to my normal life disappointed. However, a lot of people would copy and paste this “great news” and spread them around between friends and family and then, disappoint a lot of people with high hopes. The first step I took to confirm this information is turning on the TV, then googling it and try to find anything that proves it right. I eventually could not find anything, of course.

Most people spread rumors to be the center of attention, when spreading a rumor for the first time, everyone will be interested in you and you will have your five minutes of fame. Others would do it out of boredom, probably to have some excitement in their life. The horrible reason for spreading a rumor would be to harm someone or gain something from it. A few months back I have received this message warning us not to drink from certain water companies because it contains something toxic, and at the end of the message, they added a list of water companies that allegedly should be trusted. People started spreading this rumor and warning others about it without getting any kind of confirmation, all I could think about is the fact that “the trusted water companies” must be gaining a lot of money from this rumor, while the others are in fact losing it.

I believe that the appropriate way to deal with rumors is to start with yourself, do not believe anything you hear or read, find out for yourself, and do not act on it until you are sure it is true or not, otherwise people will no longer trust each other.

Shifaa – 05/10/2012

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