Be Careful Who You Trust

After an election where we were told day after day, month after month that Donald Trump had no chance at the White House, Americans are reeling. Who are we supposed to trust?

The media, the politicians, and the experts – the source for many of what’s true and right – got it completely wrong.

Media tells stories that sell

Unfortunately for the millions who depend on the nightly news or on email updates to get the lowdown on what’s happening in the world, the only stories they’re hearing are the ones that boost ratings and sell advertisements.

A very recent for instance? On Election Day, multiple media outlets published a story about a shooting near a polling place in a Los Angeles suburb. According to one news report, voters queued up at the polling place “fled for their lives.” The not-so-subtle underlying message? If you vote, you might get shot.

Later reports of the shooting stated that the rampage didn’t have anything to do with the election, but, instead, the shooter went on a cocaine binge and became violent. The event just so happened to occur near a polling place.

Stories like the Election Day shooting – stories about date rape, kidnappings, and riots – are undeniably tragic and do take place. However, they often don’t take into account the reality that for every violent act, thousands of other good and entirely normal events are happening. Normalcy doesn’t boost ratings.

In the case of the polling place shooting, thousands of polling places throughout the United States were peaceful places for voters to choose their next president. Only the story of the one violent act got told, and that event turned out to have nothing to do with the election.

Language that stirs emotions

To keep ratings up, the media fills their stories with emotive words to stir up an audience reaction. As soon as it was clear, for example, that Donald Trump would take the United States presidency, media outlets started reporting that international financial markets were “plummeting” or “plunging” or “tumbling.” Donald Trump was going to be president, and the world was in a panic.

The truth? The tumbling was more likely a normal fluctuation in the stock market, something that happens on a daily and hourly basis. In addition, markets often fluctuate in response to a presidential election, in some cases much more so than they did in this election

Emotive words, however, like plunge or plummet pull in large audiences, so even if they aren’t true, they still get scattered throughout the news to keep you coming back for more.

Click-bait words (words or phrases that make you want to click on an article) aren’t truth and they shouldn’t be relied on for a good sense of reality. There might be a partial truth buried underneath them – yes, the stock market did drop on election night, but by the next morning it was up again – you just have to dig for it. Don’t take emotive words as face value.

Never has it been more important who you trust

Let’s face it: there’s a lot of fear, doubt, and worry going around after this recent election. And all of those emotions are piled on the unrest, job loss, and money stress that was taking place long before the election.

It’s more important than ever to have a value-centered community that you can trust and turn to when you’re not sure if you’re being told the truth. The reality is that the powers that be can’t be trusted. They have other agendas – ratings, revenue, or political correctness.

If you’re looking for a community where you can find truth, is that community – a place to find truth centered around what’s good for your family and how to relieve money stress.

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