Here are three ways to respond to false info online:
1. Ask a question
If the false info is coming from a friend or a family member, or you’re worried that your reply might help spread the false info, you can just ask a question like “Are you sure that’s true?” or “Is that source reliable?”.
That nudges them to think more about whether what they’re sharing is true, and shows other people that you don’t agree with the bad info.
Research has found this works almost as well as correcting or debunking false information!
Break the Fake: Critical thinking vs. disinformation
Ask yourself three questions:
1. What do I already think or believe about this?
We pay attention to things that fit with what we already think is true. That’s not always a bad thing: science, medicine and other subjects all have a consensus: what experts believe is most likely true, based on all the evidence that’s been found so far.
It’s time to buy a smartphone for my youngest (who is only a few months away from being 14 years old). While we know there are considerations and conversations needed around the use of phones, safety, apps, privacy and other responsibilities when owning a phone, we also know the time is right.
Screen time is a common topic for parents to try and manage today. Are we allowing too much? How do we make it safe? We will ask our friends and fellow parents for their thoughts or advice or learn tips from resources (like MediaSmarts!) to help us navigate this new aspect of parenting. When I was my kids’ age, we were just loading Netscape 2.0 onto our computers, and we’d check our ICQ messages before putting in a VHS to watch a movie or playing some Super Mario RPG. The online world is so different now.
I have teens, but up until recently they didn’t have social media accounts (although, I suppose Discord may count as one).
They hadn’t had much interest in the past, other than a few requests for Snapchat and Instagram that came and went almost as quickly as they were mentioned. But recently, my eldest asked again about Instagram and through conversations together it seemed like the logical time to get one.