Because it’s so easy to copy and share things online, it’s important to find out where something originally came from before you decide whether or not to trust it. Someone might have shared it with you on social media, or a news story might be based on someone else’s story.
Whether you’re looking at a website, photo, video or news story, what really matters is whether or not the people who originally created it are trustworthy. Even when it has been shared with you by someone you trust, like a friend or family member, you can’t know if they checked the facts. So it’s up to you!
This step may sometimes be the last one you do, but it could also be the first. The News tab is better than the main Google search for this step because it only shows real news sources. While not every source that’s included is perfectly reliable, they are all news outlets that really exist.
People who share false or misleading information sometimes use the language of critical thinking and media literacy, telling followers to “do your research” and “think critically” in one breath and then to “trust the plan” in the next.
So how can we tell if we’re really thinking critically?
How can we help young people develop affective empathy? The best approach depends on how old they are. Children begin to understand empathy as toddlers, but at this stage they are so completely “in the moment” that the best approach is to watch out for situations where we can model and talk about empathy with them. When a child does something or witnesses something that makes somebody feel sad, quietly explain to them how and why it made them feel that way. (It can be valuable to do this with other emotions, such as fear and happiness, as well.)