Nowadays, with the rapid evolution of technology, it is not surprising how people, most especially the “millennials” who are defined as the generation born into the digital world, became more engaged in the everyday happenings of the society. Technology serves as a powerful tool for not only has it connected people with different beliefs, colors and languages but also brings people in a world where exchanging of idea has become part of our everyday lives.
Some of the trends that millennials use to express themselves today are the different social media platforms such as facebook, twitter and instagram. Though it offers different features, it can be noticed how these influential platforms gather people like distance has never been a problem. According to CNBC as mentioned in Zephoria Digital Marketing website, there are over 1.79 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide; 284 million Twitter users and; 200 million Instagram users (which means a very extensive audience reach).Through internet access, one can limitlessly share posts, comments and other information available online.
However, after all these advantages come the consequences. As people can freely post and share what they want to express, questions of credibility follows. When I say credibility, I actually refer to questioning those contents and information being publicly shared online without reliable sources. It is evident that information from unreliable sources are what often create confusion, misunderstanding and misinformation to people.
Isn’t it alarming?
Isn’t it toxic?
Oh my! I am unconsciously feeding my friends with false information!
So, how will I know if my source is credible?
Here are some tips on how to evaluate online sources:
If the author is not identified be wary. When an article or website is authored anonymously it has little credibility. It should be evident who created the content. What are the author’s credentials? Does he/she have expertise in this field? Is biographical information provided?
This can help you determine the origin of the document, for example whether it is produced by an established publisher, a government agency, a nonprofit organization, or a commercial website. Consider the publisher’s reputation and trustworthiness.
3. Accuracy and objectivity
Can the facts presented on a website be substantiated elsewhere? Beware of information that can’t be confirmed or that presents a biased view. Always check multiple sources to determine credibility.
Be aware of when the web page was created and how recently it’s been updated. Is the information current? Outdated information and broken links indicate the page is not being maintained.
5. Footnotes and bibliographies
Legitimate references and links to other sources can add to a document’s credibility and depth of scholarship.
Some sites are officially approved by the parent organization to which they’re linked. Others can be on a parent site but not officially sponsored by the organization. A personal homepage on a university’s server does not automatically confer credibility.
Knowing these tips can surely create a better social media world, where truth always prevails. As they always say, technologies are made to make our everyday lives better and easier. However, one should always remember how important is to be a responsible and wise technology-user. As I end this, can I ask you a favor?
“Can you be a credible source of digital change?”