In the age of technology, it is hard to tell what’s real or not. It only takes one person to misunderstand something to spread misinformation. According to a study performed by researchers at MIT, lack of attention is the cause of 51.2% misinformation being spread. That means that a quick fact check on a reliable website, could have prevented everyone who you’ll affect by the misinformation, from being impacted.
One example of a common myth is that bananas grow on trees. According to the Rainforest Allegiance, they actually grow on plants similar to lilies and orchids. This is quite harmless misinformation, but is still annoying. A piece of more harmful misinformation, is that it’s safe to eat food that has been on the floor for five seconds or less. That’s actually very wrong. The entire purpose for bacteria is to get to, and eat food. Expectating that they aren’t excellent at this, would be a mistake. According to researchers at Clemson University, in five seconds there is already a substantial amount of bacteria on the food. This myth could get somebody very sick. There is also a particularly bad myth, that is you have to wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person. This is perpetuated by TV, for entertainment purposes. According to Child Find of America, a non-profit organization for the prevention and resolving of children, it is crucial to contact authorities within 48 hours. Believing you must wait, cuts the most important time in half. People believing they have to wait 24 hours, could have loved ones looking for them themselves, which endangered their loved ones. This myth also endangers the person that is missing, because they have to wait a whole day before they have the possibility of help.
In conclusion, it’s very hard to tell what’s real and what isn’t. From misinformed people, to people who are making excuses, and through entertainment, myths are spread relentlessly. It’s important to do quick fact checks when something doesn't seem quite right, or anything that might be important to know as a definite fact.
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