Comet Could Destroy Earth in 30 Days

10 Aug

cometNASA, in conjunction with the European Space Agency, has concluded that there is a 34.5% chance that Sheena, a large and extremely hot comet from the Venus system, may collide with our planet in early September!

Now that I have your attention with my bogus headline… I’ve blogged this shocking opening to prove a point regarding the surplus of false information that is so readily available online. We are all subject to falling into this trap.

The following article recently alerted me to the significance of this problem; almost 60% of links on social media are being shared without users actually reading the story:

I repeat: Almost 60% of links on social media are being shared without users actually reading them. 60% of you are passing on news headlines, articles, blogs and stories that you haven’t even confirmed as factual!

8 Theories on Why This is Happening:

  1. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the Internet moves fast. Ask any established newspaper – they have to be the first to break the story or it’s often a non-story. The 24 hour delay until “the news goes to press” no longer exists. I could read that the President died and repost the article in seconds.
  2. Everyone is going online. It’s not just for kids any more. On the average day, Facebook is drawing 1 billion users; including our grandparents. 1 billion. But wait – only 49.2% of the world uses the Internet ( That number is only going up!
  3. Accessibility is getting easier. As technology improves and the poorer countries evolve, more and more people will be able to “log on”. Imagine speeds 1000 times faster than your current broadband service… 1.5 Gigabits per second is coming sooner than you realize ( Batteries are going to make massive leaps forward ( Today, you can buy a new laptop for $150 or get a free Smartphone when signing up for a plan.
  4. There are countless options. I can’t even keep up anymore despite being an avid user of LinkedIn, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr, Foursquare and now Snapchat (to catch up with my 13 year-old daughter). Go to your personal Facebook page, click on your “About” section and view the plethora of websites and Social Links that you can attach to your page. It’s insane! In today’s world of “99 channels & nothing’s on”, it will only expand exponentially as niches continue to develop.
  5. “Social Media” has evolved. We don’t think of Pokémon Go, YouTube, Evite, Groupon, Spotify, Jigsaw, Waze, OpenTable or Amazon as social media sites. If you plug in your name, phone number or email address into those apps, people can find your name attached to that site and probably linked to others. We have to realize that anything online can be a potential social media platform. It’s all connected!
  6. There are a million needy and crazy “writers” online. They’ll post anything. If you aren’t going to read the real news they put online, many of those people are writing an exorbitant number of phony headlines and stories to fulfill their want to grab your attention.
  7. It’s not just spreading via the Internet. I was listening to the radio last week and they were discussing a news story about an app that allows you to request someone to pick up your dog’s poop by dropping a pin on the map and entering your credit card info. The radio host (Dan Barreiro) realized during the commercial break that it was a false story and then immediately discussed the hoax with his listeners.
  8. We are too busy. Our lives are busy keeping up with the Jones’s and the rest of the rat race. A typical bread earner is on the road by 7:00 am, working 8:00-5:00, racing home to get their kids to practice and sitting down in front of a television between 8:00-12:00 while they simultaneously surf online – before falling asleep on the couch. As we roll through the days, we are often carelessly consuming news. We are turning into idiots. I can’t think of another way to put it.

Read more, repost less and just go slower. Make sure to teach your employees and children this as well.

Or you might be subject to reposting one of these crazy stories:

It’s time to grow faster.

~Drew Schmitz





Twitter: @drew_schmitz

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