Surety or Sham?

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July 16, 2019 by phicks2012

So, how to you figure out what’s real and what’s totally bogus on Social Media? I’ve been working this out in my own way, and have decided to go with the following:

If it’s an unsolicited ad, there’s at least a chance it’s somehow misleading and that either the item isn’t as pictured, or isn’t as described. This seems to be especially true with items of apparel. If the item is made in China, just for example, there’s a very good chance that the sizing is wrong and that an XL couldn’t be squeezed into by Kate Moss. There’s also an excellent chance that the materials are NOT what they are advertised to be (i.e. cheap nylon vs. linen), that the style may very well also be dramatically different — oh, and that it will cost more to return it than the item is worth. My solution is always to dig deeper and try to find out where the product is made, to check out the manufacturer of the product (I’m looking at YOU “New Chic”), and to get a few customer reviews before I waste my money and time ordering some style rip-off made in a post-apocalyptic sweat shop. 😉

If it’s a political rant, then I nearly always take it totally with a very large grain of salt. I don’t trust a lot of politicians to begin with, mind you, but just because I disagree with someone’s politics doesn’t mean I automatically view them as minions of Lucifer, the Anti-Christ, Cthulu, or whatever — well, unless I know them personally and have seen them sacrifice gerbils to Olaf the Troll God. 😉 Oh, and I don’t think sleaziness is necessarily dictated solely by political party, even if some parties do tend to lean that way more than others. 😉

If it’s offering a money-making opportunity, or telling me I can claim huge wads of grant money I just assume it’s bogus. Somehow I just don’t believe anyone is simply going to hand me a butt-load of money, or that I can rake in a fortune selling “Diet Water” or “Glow-in-the-Dark Toilet Paper”. 😉

If I’m offered a product of any kind using the words “Miracle”, “Shocking”, or “Amazing” in their ads — well, personally, I would be both “Shocked” and “Amazed” if ANY “Miracle” product worked, and if all three buzz-words are involved you can just BET the product will be ludicrously over-priced — once the automatic re-orders kick in after the free trial period. 😉

If it’s a dire warning claiming that rabid hackers are sending out messages enabling them to hack into people’s social media accounts, or claims that hackers are sending out bogus friend requests and that (if i accept them) I will allow those hackers unlimited access to my Facebook account, I generally refer the senders to the relevant articles on Snopes.com — along with the caveat “Just don’t click any unknown links, dumbass!”

If someone tries to blackmail me (and I’ve gotten hundreds of variations on the Sextortion Scam) I either post their letters to Facebook for a good laugh before reporting them to the FBI, or I simply report them and trust the Scam-Cop equivalents of Scully and Mulder to go to work tracking their asses down. They do, after all, say “The truth is out there”. 😉

If I get a frenzied warning that the world will end at 2:49 pm on August 14th, 2020 when Earth will be blind-sided by the invisible planet Shnozwhistle — well, while I know that comets and rogue asteroids are a fact of nature, I have a fairly firm notion that astronomers, planetary science geeks, and astrophysicists are likely to spot one of those well out, and while those lamenting the demotion of Pluto to “dwarf planet” status are positively LUSTING for a new ninth planet to be discovered I somehow doubt that invisibility is likely to be one of its physical properties. Your mileage, of course, may vary. 😉

Mainly though, I just make a habit of trusting only (or mainly) information that comes from people I actually know to be reliable and to have functional brains. Not everyone I know fits into that category, of course, because we all know hysterics, people who are credulous and gullible, and folks who thrive on DRAMA. I also know a couple who just love yanking other people’s chains (Hey, Bill! Hey, Lucien!), but that’s another matter entirely and subject more to the rules of humor than to simple idiocy.

In closing, well, when dealing with social media I’ll end by saying that I’d suggest skepticism before credulity, but watch out for Shnozwhistle. Just sayin’ 😉

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phicks2012

phicks2012

I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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