March  2018     Edition 138
Are you using a Critical Thinking Lense?

In the process of seeking out information

, communicating and keeping in touch with others, even just looking for a weather report, we are bombarded with a deluge of information from news and social media, politicians, advertisers, followers, those you follow, and your friends.   Even when we’re just standing around at an airport, or eating at a restaurant, or looking for a hotel on the web, the news is in our face, and pop up advertising all over our screen. 

Much of our “news” comes from Facebook, Twitter, the media, our work associates, and our politicians.

The amount of information we have access to is incredibly large, a never-ending stream of data points.  While much of this information might be useful, there are thousands and thousands of accounts and posts that contain information that is designed to persuade the reader with false or misleading information.   This isn’t just about politics, or Russia, or ISIS propaganda.   These techniques are used by advertisers, and other outlets to influence and sway opinions, products, and services.   Online reviews of products are abundant and not all of them are genuine.  It’s very easy to post a review on almost anything.  

Just because you read something a friend posted doesn’t make it so.

  Just because FOX or CNN reports something, doesn’t mean you’re getting the whole picture.  Just because someone you voted for says something, doesn’t mean it’s accurate.
Now more than ever, critical thinking about the information you are receiving is necessary.  You must view information through a critical thinking lense or your reaction to information might very well take you in a direction that you should have not gone.  Your family members and work associates should also have a critical thinking lense.

When you hear or read something, regardless of the source, do so through a critical thinking lense and ask just a few questions;

- How do I know what I’m hearing / reading is true, is accurate?

- Is there anything I can do to determine / validate the accuracy?

- If the information is accurate, so what?

  What are the ramifications, what are the consequences?  How is this information influencing me?  How does it affect me, my business, my family, my world?

- If the information is inaccurate, how should I treat it,

how should I respond to others who think it is accurate?  How is this inaccurate information influencing others and how might I respond?

- What can I do to help others with their critical thinking lense

so others can react appropriately to this information?

- What value

does the person, outlet, company, politician, who communicated the information, getting?  How does it help them?   Why are they communicating this?

The Takeaway:
  We live in a world where it’s difficult to understand what is true and what is not.  It’s so important to look at information through a critical thinking lense.   Insist that others “think” and use a critical thinking lense before they react, and especially before they “Share”.  Be smart about how you interpret what you hear and what you read. 

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