With the ability to interact with fellow readers and comment on articles, the popularity of online social media is skyrocketing. Despite all the intelligent technology involved with these new interactive tools, it seems ignorance is also soaring.
In the old days, before the world wide web, any article we read was most likely written by a professional journalist. There were special sections, such as op-ed, designated for actual opinions on specific newsworthy subjects. Nowadays, however, with the explosion in Web 2.0, it's hard to separate those based on actual fact from those based on pure fiction.
Amid all the cyber-content clutter, there are some trusted, newsworthy stories out there, which most web savvy users can distinguish from virtual viewpoints. Yet, after discovering and enjoying such astute, informative pieces, it appears from the extremely biased comments left by other readers that they'd much prefer fiction over fact.
It is true that every article one indulges must be taken with a grain of salt. After all, we are all human and sometimes authors, unfortunately, try to dictate the story rather than the other way around. Judging by most remarks, however, especially after political columns, it appears commenters are taking each story with a boulder of salt.
Instead of posting thoughts on the thesis or highlighted elements of each article, many are simply stating pointless generalizations, assumptions, and slanted propaganda. Basically, no matter how factual, newsworthy, or insightful it may be, readers are simply flooding message boards with their pre-disposed, biased agenda.
A few weeks ago, there was an article on Yahoo.com about a gentleman running for re-election as the District 24 representative in the Maryland House of Delegates. Apparently, the lawmaker either lied or misrepresented himself by stating on his website that he once played in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys. After some fact-checking, it turned out there was no employment record at all with the team or the league, leaving the candidate with a whole lot of explaining to do about his false claim.