Alternative Facts

Recently, the term “alternative facts” has been used to refer to statements made about politics that differ from what the media reports. To the common person, it seems like alternative facts only have a place in the political world. But that’s where the people go wrong. In fact, we deal with alternative facts all the time when we interact with others, the only difference is that we refer to them by a different term: lies. I’ll be honest here, I have been easily manipulated many times before by twisted stories that are far from the truth. In an age where information between our peers is so easily accessible, it is much easier to create lies than it is to find the truth.

After being duped by “alternative facts” many times in the past I would like to share some tips on how to detect what is true and what is not. These can be useful both in daily life and when analyzing politics.

Don’t blindly believe the first story you hear.

Going off of what you hear first makes you easily susceptible to making rash decisions instead of seeking out other perspectives and opinions. This is especially applicable in situations where you find evidence that supports your own suspicions, leading to confirmation bias. In the past I myself have taken quick decisions off of information I was given without fact-checking and eventually it led me to losing a good friendship.

Create judgements of people off of your own interactions with them, not on the experiences of others.

Many times, another person’s opposing view on a fellow friend is missing context that would otherwise be useful in understanding a situation. Regardless of how many bad stories you hear about another person, to find someone’s true intentions you need to give them the benefit of the doubt and a chance to prove themselves to you. It is not possible for a person to have perfect experiences with everyone they meet; it is important for each of us to take that into consideration whenever we hear negative reviews about people.

The constant complainer is not giving you the whole story.  

There are a few people that I know who seem to have a problem with almost everyone they know. They constantly give reason as to why it is not their fault. This person is most likely hiding their faults and their mistakes from the story in order to frame themselves as the good guy. Someone who is telling the truth can admit when they were in the wrong instead of distorting a story in their favor.

Finding the truth is not always an easy task; takes time and patience. People are much more than what others say about them, and there is more value to finding the true intentions of a person compared to assuming everyone else’s opinions as your own. Do not let alternative facts dictate whether or not you keep up with a person because you may lose the opportunity to make quality friendships.

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