Why Misinformation SPREADS!

๐Ÿคฏ ๐–๐‡๐˜ ๐Œ๐ˆ๐’๐ˆ๐๐…๐Ž๐‘๐Œ๐€๐“๐ˆ๐Ž๐ ๐’๐๐‘๐„๐€๐ƒ๐’!!! ๐Ÿคฏ

Ever played the game Telephone? ๐Ÿ“ž

Itโ€™s where you have group of people get in a straight line, and they stand next to each other. ——->

On one end of the line, Person 1 whispers a message to Person 2 next to them. Person 2 then is supposed to whisper the exact same message to Person 3 also next to them, and this continues on and on until they reach the last person at the end of the line. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

The goal of the game is to transfer the message Person 1 whispered as accurate as possible to the last person in line. โžก๏ธ

Of course, ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜€ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐จ๐ซ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ! ๐Ÿ˜…

Itโ€™s a fun game to play if you ever get the chance! ๐ŸŽฒ

But, I also think this game is a great analogy when it comes to the public spread of misinformation online. ๐Ÿค”

Consider this scenarioโ€ฆโฌ‡๏ธ

SCENARIO: ๐˜ผ ๐˜พ๐˜ฟ๐˜พ ๐™ค๐™›๐™›๐™ž๐™˜๐™ž๐™–๐™ก ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ซ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™จ ๐™– ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ข๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™ช๐™—๐™ก๐™ž๐™˜. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

1. Person 1 cherry picks the CDCโ€™s statement and passes the information to Person 2. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

2. Person 2 does not trust the CDC. He only remembers what Person 1 said that confirmed his biases against the CDC and passes the remaining information onto Person 3. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

3. Person 3 has a blog. He carries an anti-establishment worldview, so he posts what Person 2 says word-for-word. He then tacks on his own personal opinion to Person 2โ€™s words and tells his reader to share his post on their social media pages. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

4. Thousands of people share Person 3โ€™s blog post on their social media pages, in addition to also adding their own personal opinion attached to the posts.

5. Friends of these thousands of people then in turn share their posts on their own social media profiles, adding in even more personal opinions. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

๐—•๐˜† ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜, ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—–๐——๐—–’๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐˜†-๐—ฝ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ, ๐—บ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐—ฑ, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐ƒ๐‚โ€™๐ฌ ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ. ๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ซ ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ซ๐š ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐จ๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ข๐๐ž๐จ๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ญ ๐›๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐š๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ง๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐ƒ๐‚โ€™๐ฌ ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

โ€ฆSee how this can become a BIG problem, especially during a pandemic? ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

For those of my friends who consider themselves conscious consumers:

๐Ÿ“Œ For those who take concern over the foods they eat and the impact it has on the environment.

๐Ÿ“Œ For those who take concern over the media they consume and the impact it has on their mental health.

๐Ÿ“Œ For those who take concern over the consequences their actions can have on others.

๐ˆโ€™๐ฆ ๐š๐ฌ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ข๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž. ๐Ÿ™Œ

It’s very easy for any of us not to consider the consequences of sharing misinformation, especially when we aren’t even aware we’re doing it. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Itโ€™s very easy for any of us not to consider the long-term effects this has on a democracy’s basic understanding of epistemic facts, on social media platforms where a majority of individuals receive their news! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Yes! A 2016 study from Pew Research Center accounted that 62% of adults get their news from social media (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6424427/).

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐œ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐œ๐ค ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง? ๐Ÿ˜“

We start to grow the amount of individuals who believe the moon landing never happened. We start to grow the amount of individuals who believe vaccines don’t save lives. We start to grow the amount of individuals who believe Bill Gates is the devil incarnate bent on a New World Order. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

I would hope most of my social media friends know that 2 + 2 = 4. But with the online game of Telephone, I would not be surprised to see some individuals who start to believe that 2 + 2 = 5 just because they watched 1 persuasive video they saw on YouTube. ๐Ÿ˜ข

Consider this: ๐€๐ง๐ฒ ๐ข๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐š ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ-๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž๐จ ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž, ๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐š๐ฅ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž’๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ, ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž ๐ง๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง (โ€œ๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐€๐‘๐„ ๐๐„๐ˆ๐๐† ๐‹๐ˆ๐„๐ƒ ๐“๐Ž! ๐Ÿ + ๐Ÿ ๐„๐๐”๐€๐‹๐’ ๐Ÿ“!โ€), ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐š๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž๐จ ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฌ๐จ๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐ฆ๐ž๐๐ข๐š ๐ฉ๐š๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž๐ฌ ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐š๐ง ๐š๐ง๐ ๐œ๐ฒ๐ง๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐๐ฏ๐ข๐ž๐ฐ๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ‘€

๐“๐ก๐š๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

But I’m not writing this post to add any additional fearmongering. Perhaps I am too over-concerned. Perhaps I am also underestimating the intelligence of the majority of individuals who use social media. Perhaps my own confirmation bias is seeing these minor instances of ignorance and jumping to conclusions that it’s a bigger problem than it actually is! ๐Ÿ˜…

Nevertheless, when I see people I know and care about share information that only requires a basic understanding of Science, Chemistry, and Statistics to know it’s false, I’m aware the red flag in my mind starts blowing in the wind. ๐Ÿšฉ

I admit it: a part of me does fear a future society where a significant portion of the world’s population cannot share a mutually agreed upon fact as simple as 2 + 2 = 4. ๐Ÿ”ข

๐Ÿคฌ “WOW DONALD! WAY TO CRITICIZE YOUR FRIENDS!” ๐Ÿคฌ

No, that’s not my intention! Iโ€™m not here claiming the spread of misinformation by my friends is at all being done intentionally or maliciously. โŒ

As author Sam Harris says: “๐Ž๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐ ๐ข๐ฌ๐ง’๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐›๐š๐ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐›๐š๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ. ๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ซ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐›๐š๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐›๐š๐ ๐ข๐๐ž๐š๐ฌ.” ๐Ÿ‘ค

Or we can also use the phrase: “๐๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ง’๐ญ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐๐จ๐ง’๐ญ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ.” ๐Ÿ‘ค

That’s why I wanted to write this post, to merely illuminate this potential blind spot. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Like the game of Telephone, misinformation is inevitably going to spread, whether we intend it to or not. This caution need also be applied to me as well! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

But my point is we CAN be more careful about how fast it spreads. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I get it. No one was given a How-To handbook to discern accurate and factual information online. Not even me; I had to learn these skills on my own! ๐Ÿ˜…

Back in school I was given a syllabus for my classes by the teacher. I was told what textbooks I needed to use. I was told what chapters I needed to read and study on. ๐Ÿ”Ž

Before the internet, we had a very limited amount of TV channels we could choose to get our information from. And if we wanted to further expand our knowledge, we’d have to get in our cars and drive to the nearest library. ๐Ÿ“š

But now with the Internet…we have MILLIONS of pieces of information available to us at the click of a button! ๐Ÿ–ฑ๏ธ

And EVEN MORE information is continuing to be created right as you read this post! This post you’re reading here IS just a speck of it! ๐Ÿ‘

My point is, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐›๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐ข๐ ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฃ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฏ๐ž๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐š๐œ๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ ๐ง๐ž๐ ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ, ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ž๐ฉ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ข๐œ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐›๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐จ๐ซ ๐š ๐ฃ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ. โœ๏ธ

So while social media provided many benefits, it also came with this unforeseen baggage. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง’๐ฌ ๐ข๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ž๐ช๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐ง๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ฌ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž.

Someone online can proclaim the fact of 2 + 2 = 4 as something to be “debated” when there is no debate. As long you know how to market yourself, build an online audience, and influence others you can sell snake oil and people will buy it. ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ

๐Ÿ˜“ โ€œDONALD, YOUโ€™RE DEPRESSING ME WITH THIS!โ€ ๐Ÿ˜“

BUT…there is a bright side to all this! ๐ŸŒž

๐’๐จ๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐ฆ๐ž๐๐ข๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž (๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ) ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐›๐š๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง! ๐Ÿฅณ

Companies like Facebook continue to work with third-party fact checking companies to combat this growing problem. (Source: https://www.facebook.com/journalismproject/programs/third-party-fact-checking)๐Ÿ‘

The very idea of “Fact-Checking” has now become a thing among organizations! (Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fact-checking_websites) ๐Ÿ˜„

๐’๐จ๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐ฆ๐ž๐๐ข๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ ๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐š ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ ๐ง๐ข๐œ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ๐ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ฌ, ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ณ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐๐ž๐ ๐š ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฐ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐ซ ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ก๐ฎ๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ

That said, should we really have to depend on social media companies to supervise us? Can we do better than this, to be more responsible, self-governing citizens? ๐Ÿ‘ค

Perhaps I’m a bit too optimistic, but I believe we can! ๐Ÿ˜„

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ. This goes for me too! ๐ŸŽฏ

๐Ÿฑ ๐—ค๐—จ๐—˜๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—œ๐—ข๐—ก๐—ฆ ๐—ง๐—ข ๐—”๐—ฆ๐—ž ๐—ฉ๐—œ๐—˜๐—ช๐—œ๐—ก๐—š ๐—œ๐—ก๐—™๐—ข๐—ฅ๐— ๐—”๐—ง๐—œ๐—ข๐—ก ๐—ข๐—ก๐—Ÿ๐—œ๐—ก๐—˜!

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐˜ž๐˜๐˜– ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ช๐˜ต? ๐˜‹๐˜ฐ ๐˜ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ?

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐˜ž๐˜๐˜ˆ๐˜› ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ?

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐˜ž๐˜๐˜Œ๐˜• ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ?

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐˜ž๐˜๐˜Œ๐˜™๐˜Œ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ?

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐˜ž๐˜๐˜  ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ช๐˜ต? ๐˜๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ?

๐—•๐—ข๐—ก๐—จ๐—ฆ ๐—ค๐—จ๐—˜๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—œ๐—ข๐—ก: ๐˜‹๐˜ฐ ๐˜ ๐˜™๐˜Œ๐˜ˆ๐˜“๐˜“๐˜  ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ต? ๐˜–๐˜ณ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ž๐˜ˆ๐˜•๐˜› ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ต?

๐…๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ. As a functioning democracy, as a basic understanding of objective truth, it matters that we all can agree that 2 + 2 = 4. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

The bigger question is: will you join me in being a part of that solution? โค๏ธ

.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, WATCH THE NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY “THE SOCIAL DILEMMA” ๐Ÿ“ผ: https://www.netflix.com/title/81254224

Why Change Is POSSIBLE! (PERSONAL)

๐Ÿ˜ฑย 4 YEARS!!!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

This afternoon I took a look at my calendarย ๐Ÿ“†ย and my eyes started to water.๐Ÿ˜ญย I couldnโ€™t believe it! 2 weeks from now it will have been 4 years.ย ๐Ÿฅณ

Itโ€™s hard for me to still fathom itโ€™s really been that long!ย ๐Ÿคฏ

The song โ€œSeasons of Loveโ€ asks: โ€˜How do you measure a year?โ€™ย ๐ŸŽถย But my mind is still trying to wrap around how to measure the past 4!ย ๐Ÿ˜…

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธย “What are you talking about Donald?!”ย ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

I should probably explain! 2 weeks from now it will have been exactly 4 yearsโ€ฆ๐Ÿ”Ž

…since I was under 25.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฑย I was so young then, but 4 years later I’m now just a grumpy old man!ย ๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐Ÿคฃย JUST KIDDING!!!ย ๐Ÿคฃ

Seriously though, 4 years ago I was That Guy on the left in the photo.

๐Ÿ“Œย 4 years ago I was That Guy who binged on junk food every day.

๐Ÿ“Œย 4 years ago I was That Guy who drank 3 to 4 cans of soda every day.

๐Ÿ“Œย 4 years ago I was That Guy who refused even substituting his drinks for Diet Soda.

๐Ÿ“Œย 4 years ago I was That Guy who was so picky about eating vegetables heโ€™d literally gag trying to swallow them because of his fear of textures.

And where did this inability to change bring That Guy?ย ๐Ÿค”

To weigh over 234 pounds.ย โš–๏ธย To have junk food and soda as his addictions and closest companions. To feel tired and sleepy more often than not.ย ๐Ÿ˜ดย To never like being in photos because of the way he looked. To always feel the need to lift his chin up so his double chin didnโ€™t show.ย ๐Ÿ˜”

That Guy really didnโ€™t like how he looked or how unhealthy he ate. But regardless, him holding onto his comfort zone outweighed any inspiration to try and be thinner or be happier.ย ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

If any of you can read this and relate, youโ€™re not alone!ย โค๏ธ

I donโ€™t necessarily mean with weight but with our general unwillingness to change things in our lives a small part of us really wants to change. While thereโ€™s that part of us that really wants to change, we nevertheless donโ€™t change.ย ๐Ÿ˜•

๐Ÿšฌย You know quitting smoking would benefit your lung health. But you donโ€™t.

๐Ÿ”ย You know eating less junk food and more vegetables would help you lose weight. But you donโ€™t.

๐Ÿšดย You know exercising would help keep your muscles strong. But you donโ€™t.

But why? Why donโ€™t we change? If itโ€™s really as simple as doing or not doing something, then why donโ€™t we do it?!ย ๐Ÿ˜ต

Because we as humansโ€ฆare complicated!ย ๐Ÿ˜…

For one thing, we are creatures of habit. Itโ€™s easier for us to break an old habit than it is to build a new one.ย ๐Ÿ‘ย Youโ€™ve probably heard the term: โ€œOld habits die hard.โ€ Itโ€™s very true, and I’ve experienced it before too!ย ๐Ÿ˜

Building a new habit requires a lot of focus.ย ๐Ÿ‘€ย It requires consistent effort. Until it becomes a full on habit in your daily life, itโ€™s going to continue feeling difficult.ย ๐Ÿ˜“

But don’t be too hard on yourself either! Think of it like this: say you’ve smoked for a decade and then decide to quit.ย ๐Ÿšญย You will then be faced with a smoking habit decades old all while you’re building the new habit to not smoke. Of course this won’t be easy! It’s an uphill battle with your Habitual Brain!ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

As much as Iโ€™d love to tell you new habits are built overnight, they arenโ€™t.ย ๐Ÿ‘ŽIt’s why most people don’t succeed doing it. If building a new habit was so easy to build, everybody would do it!ย ๐Ÿ‘

But again, youโ€™re not alone!ย โค๏ธย That Guy in the photo wasnโ€™t willing to either! Sure, he wanted to be thinner and healthier, but why would he substitute that for all the short-term pleasures he experienced from junk food and soda?ย ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

He even told himself: โ€œI don’t have to worry about my health until the doctor says I have to.โ€ย ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

So what happened 4 years ago that set That Guy down a path into who is now, Me present day?ย ๐Ÿค”

๐ŸŒŸย His desire to change had to become stronger than his desire not to change.ย ๐ŸŒŸ

โš ๏ธย The problem was That Guy was always focused on his short-term pleasure; he was not focused on the long-term pain.

โš ๏ธย He was focused on the pleasures of junk food and soda; he was not focused on the long-term medical issues heโ€™d have because of them.

โš ๏ธย He was focused on himself; he was not focused on the people who were trying to help him and whose advice he kept ignoring.

So when That Guy saw the path he was heading down for years to come, it planted a Seed of Horror in his mind that he had to change NOW!ย ๐Ÿ›‘

Like Scrooge in โ€œA Christmas Carolโ€, it was his vision of a horrific future which pushed That Guy to say: โ€œEnough is enough!โ€ย โŒ…

So here I am now, after 80 pounds lost, a No Soda policy, and many vegetables consumed!ย ๐Ÿฅฆย That Guy has evolved into Me on the right. I like to call him Ace. Ace has since let That Guy retire, because now Ace likes running the show!ย ๐Ÿ˜Ž

So there’s something you really need to know!ย โœ‹

๐Ÿ‘ย Iโ€™m not going to pretend like this physical transformation happened overnight. It didnโ€™t.

๐Ÿ‘ย Iโ€™m not going to put on an act like it was the easiest thing to do in the world. It wasnโ€™t.

๐Ÿ‘ย Iโ€™m not going to try and make you believe I never zig-zagged during my transformation. I didโ€ฆmany times!

But what I will tell you though is that it is indeed possible for you to change when you set your mind to it.ย โค๏ธ

One of my favorite speakers Les Brown talks about the Power of Possibility: โ€œSometimes we canโ€™t say โ€˜I can do thatโ€™. But what we can say is that โ€˜itโ€™s possibleโ€™.โ€ย ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

๐ŸŒŸย If you can allow yourself to visualize the possibility of a future greater than the one you’re living now, youโ€™ve already provided an opening for yourself to step forward.ย ๐ŸŒŸ

So with this post I want to plant the seed in your mind that it is possible for you too, in whatever it is youโ€™re looking to change!ย ๐Ÿ˜„

Iโ€™m not saying it will be easy. Iโ€™m not saying it will always be fun. But when you have doubts come up, remind yourself why you started in the first place.ย ๐Ÿค”

๐Ÿ‘คย Do something today your future self will thank you for.ย ๐Ÿ‘ค

Lastly, I have to give credit to the most powerful visual exercise I ever experienced which sealed the deal for me to change all those 4 years ago.ย ๐Ÿ‘

It was attending Tony Robbinsโ€™s โ€œUnleash the Power Withinโ€ event for the first time that I experienced what is known as the Dickens Process.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

I’d love to tell you more, but Iโ€™d rather you experienced the event for yourself without spoilers. I can tell you how a candy bar tastes, but itโ€™s a whole other thing to actually taste it.ย ๐Ÿซ

I’m not saying attending the event is your only tool, only that it’s a damn fine one in your Arsenal for Change if you do! It was for me!ย โค๏ธ

COMMENT below if youโ€™ve attended UPW before or are interested in attending!ย ๐Ÿ˜

.

DONATE TO MY PATREON:ย https://bit.ly/2HTZHpF

Why Death REMINDS You! (PERSONAL)

๐Ÿ™Œย I CAN BREATHE A SIGH OF PEACE!ย ๐Ÿ™Œ

My emotions were so close to overwhelming me as it happened! But I had to express them!ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

Perhaps I get “too emotional” these days! But then again, I remember the days when I was younger when I use to downplay my emotions. It wasn’t pleasant to say the least. But now, all I can think about is how great it feels to simply express myself. Now even the smallest gestures of kindness I will allow myself to get all teary-eyed.ย ๐Ÿ’ฆ

Remember when I told you all aboutย Kieran? He was the friend I helped get to UPW last month in London.ย ๐Ÿค”ย If you didn’t read about it, you can read itย HERE!ย ๐Ÿ‘

What Iโ€™m referring to happened one evening after I finished talking with Kieran, after we had parted ways for the night, when my emotions started getting to me.ย ๐Ÿ˜ข

It must have been a late evening, because as I walked into the Crew Break Room it was completely empty apart from 2 other Crew members:ย Jamie andย Aaron.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

I didnโ€™t plan on telling either of them what was going on. A part of me just simply wanted to leave the venue and get some shut eye. On Crew we have some long days!ย ๐Ÿ˜‚ย But I would be lying if I didnโ€™t say I also felt the need to share my feelings with another.

As a Floor Captain that event, I wanted to set the leadership example. But even the best of leaders should also not be afraid to reveal their vulnerabilities at times.ย ๐ŸŒŸ

I can only remember fragments of our group conversation, but I ended up sharing what had happened. I told them about Kieran, how grateful he was for my gesture, and how touched I felt by his many thanks.ย โค๏ธย I held back additional tears as Jamie and Aaron simply listened.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

What was initially a single moment of gratitude turned into me recounting many more: grateful for the opportunity to be in London again, grateful to impact thousands of people’s lives again, grateful to see the impact of my actions first-hand, etc.ย โค๏ธ

And then came the final exclamation mark in our conversation when I told them the thought thatโ€™s been crossing my mind the past yearโ€ฆ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Itโ€™s one Iโ€™ve been very hesitant to share with people, let alone on social media, because I was afraid it would be taken the wrong way. But I promise what Iโ€™m about to share with you is by no means meant to be โ€œdepressingโ€ or โ€œmorbidโ€.ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Itโ€™s a thought that’s crossed my mind , whether it was when I was falling sleep or when I took a moment to deeply reflect on my life. It’s the thought that gets me crying faster than any others.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ

Itโ€™s the thought of Death. But not in the way you might be thinking. Let me quickly assure everyone my mental health is fine; it has nothing to do with that.ย ๐Ÿ˜Šย Allow me to explainโ€ฆโœ

I told them this thought Iโ€™ve had, this unconditional acceptance that Iโ€™ve lived a full life. I told them that if I were to die that night, in a decade, or even in a full lifetime, I can always be rest assured to take my last breath at peace.ย โค๏ธ

I can always be grateful enough to say: โ€œI’ve lived a full life, one I deemed worth living, and should I have the pleasure of experiencing another tomorrow I’ll keep living fully.โ€ย ๐Ÿ™

Some of you might be like: “Donald! You’re only 27! You’ve got plenty of time!”ย ๐Ÿ—ฃ

But let me ask you: what if tomorrow wasn’t 100% guaranteed? What if we lived each day of our lives with a reminder that tomorrow is never promised? Would you be living the same way you are today? I donโ€™t mean to ask this like some clichรฉ motivational quote. I mean if you REALLY thought about that DEEPLY, how different would you be living your life?ย ๐Ÿค”

The philosopher Seneca said: โ€œLife is long, if you know how to use it.โ€ A person could live a hundred years and feel like they hadnโ€™t lived a full life. But another person could live a mere 10 years yet feel like they lived a full life. How so?ย ๐Ÿค”

Because itโ€™s not about the number of years you’re alive, but about the years you’ve actually lived. Itโ€™s about quality over quantity.ย ๐Ÿ‘

So some may see the idea of Death as โ€œdepressingโ€ and “morbid”, but I see Death as the most powerful motivator you have at your disposal in this game called Life. This very acknowledgement of Death is what’s helped pull me forward the past few years:

๐Ÿ‘Šย To do things I wouldnโ€™t normally do

๐Ÿ‘Šย To travel to places I wouldn’t typically think of going

๐Ÿ‘Šย To take risks my fears would normally dissuade me from doing

Perhaps there is much more to the term “You Only Live Once” than we all have given it credit for!ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

I took this photo while I was at the Glasgow Necropolis in Scotland last month. Walking among the tombstones, I was reminded again of all these ideas: You can surely see Death as a negative, something which creeps into all our lives at some point.ย ๐Ÿ˜จ

But you can also see Death as the greatest tool you have while you’re alive: to transform your negatives into positives, to remind you of the things which truly matter, to push you in ways you could only describe as “a life worth living”.ย โค๏ธ

๐ŸŒŸย WHEN YOU ACCEPT THE INEVITABILITY OF DEATH, YOU ALSO ACCEPT YOURSELF TO LIVE.ย ๐ŸŒŸ

Here’s to hoping many more heartfelt moments to share with you all in the future! I love you, and thank you for reading!ย โค๏ธย #EudaimonicLife

.

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Patreon:ย https://bit.ly/2HTZHpF

LinkedIn:ย https://bit.ly/2RER81M

Facebook:ย https://bit.ly/2DSebCh

Instagram:ย https://bit.ly/2t2Kd8A

Holonis:ย https://bit.ly/2t8Rwvi

How a Roller Coaster is Your LIFE!

What if every problem was a gift? ๐ŸŽ

Think about it:

๐ŸŒŸ Problems stem from the person who says there is a problem. ๐ŸŒŸ

But what is a problem to one person may in fact not be to another:

๐Ÿ“Œ You feel too cold in a room, but another person says the room temperature is just fine.

๐Ÿ“Œ You’re driving and worried about being somewhere late, but your friend assures you will be there plenty early.

๐Ÿ“Œ A person is blasting music you hate, but the other person says you just need to just loosen up.

Ask yourself:

๐Ÿ‘ What does this problem say about me? How am I feeling? What is the story I’m telling myself that is making this problem?

๐Ÿ‘ What are the potential solutions to this problem? How would solving this problem fast make me feel?

๐Ÿ‘ Is this problem really worth lingering over? Is it really worth sacrificing my internal happiness for this problem?

We ALL deal with problems. They’re not exclusive to a select few. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

Most problems are not even that important! ๐Ÿ‘

We’ll create problems that aren’t there. We’ll magnify problems and make them bigger than they need to be. We’ll make them seem more life-or-death in our minds than they actually are

๐ŸŒŸ Focus far less on the problem and far more on the solutions. ๐ŸŒŸ

I’m not saying having a problem is “bad”. I’m saying let’s change our relationship with problems. Problems will always happen, but it’s how we work work with them, these hindrances, that will make all the difference. ๐Ÿ˜Š #TranscendLabels

.

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Patreon:ย https://bit.ly/2HTZHpF

LinkedIn:ย https://bit.ly/2RER81M

Facebook:ย https://bit.ly/2DSebCh

Instagram:ย https://bit.ly/2t2Kd8A

Holonis:ย https://bit.ly/2t8Rwvi