As the old saying goes, to err is to be human. I think this phrase needs to be updated to reflect today’s society. To err in the use of logic and reasoning is to be a 21st century human using social media.
I have been accused more than once of being too logical and not emotional enough. Perhaps this is why I feel such a strong connection to one of the most revered characters in pop culture history – Spock.
We can learn a lot from Spock. As a matter fact, we need to inject the logic back into our human brains. Stop being so damn emotional about everything we see online. But how to do that? Allow me to explain it to you. First, you need stop being a lazy ass when it comes to determining whether the information sitting in front of you is complete and utter bullshit. Yes, it might take more than 30 seconds of research to arrive at the truth. Second, you must realize that not everyone who has shared content on their timeline has vetted it for accuracy. People are lazy creatures and tend to move toward the path of least resistance. Just assume they clicked the 'share' button without fact-checking because it's easier. Third, understand just because you agree with it doesn’t mean it’s true. Those ultra-conservative and ultra-liberal websites you insist on sharing are only telling you what you already believe. How about challenging yourself for once? And fourth, you need to acknowledge your own participation in the spreading of misinformation and admit to your own use of logical fallacies.
I can’t blame you too much for that last one. Many of you wouldn’t even know how to spot a logical fallacy if it hit you right in the face. You use them because you erroneously believe them to be evidence, when in fact, they are evidence of your lack of reasoning. So here are three logical fallacies for you to avoid using (and to spot in others) before you spread anymore bullshit around the Interwebs. (More to come later. Don’t want to reach information overload here).
And this isn't the only example out there. Facebook is the perfect breeding ground for hasty generalizations. You see one or two examples of something happening an automatically assume that means it's happening everywhere to everybody.
What makes this fallacy in logic so dangerous is it forces a person into believing there are only two alternatives, when in fact more than two alternatives usually exist. The world does not exist in only black and white; there are many shades of gray. Furthermore, it implies that if you disagree with the one and only answer I'm already looking for, then you are automatically in the wrong and shows a serious lack of critical thinking or creative thinking abilities.