As I was reading the introduction to this week’s assignment I couldn’t help but laugh at how relateable it was. I even read the description to my mom because right away we both thought of my grandmother/her mom. In the last two or three years my grandma got herself a smartphone, and then eventually, social media. Ever since then, she has constantly been sharing and reading conspiracy theories and false information on really important matters such as the election, Covid-19, and unfortunately social justice issues. The things she has seen and heard has lead her to differ from the rest of us on these important issues and lead to some uncomfortable conversations and arguments.
When discussing things with older generations, it can be very difficult to change their mind. They have had their own beliefs and ideas for decades while society and information has drastically changed over these years. Personally, me and my family have never been successful in attempting to have a genuine conversation about these things with my grandma. We’ve tried to explain to her that certain words are problematic now, vaccines are important, and the election was not fake, but we were quickly shut down by Facebook rumors and misinformation about all three of these ideas. She is a person that no matter what approach is taken, just will not listen. Even when we acknowledge what she thinks, provide facts, and explain why things are the way they are, to her it is just all wrong. I think that is what is the hardest about trying to help older generation understand changing times is that they can be very stubborn (of course not all people are like this).
I think the best course of action in order to help with the spread of misinformation and the education of misinformed people, is just to overload on factual information. There’s no need for arguments, to state that they’re wrong, just simply provide helpful links to articles or news that shows the true credible information. Of course, this can still cause problems such as being unfriended, having your comment deleted, or an argument. However, I feel like staying positive and keeping a helpful tone is the best thing to do because no matter what argument is presented, facts cannot be ignored. If anything, at least you and others will know what’s true. Also, by providing your own information on these topics, you may be helping others who truly did not know what was true or what to believe.