Every Monday, I’ll post about discovering genuine hope and authentic answers for living a healthy life.

As a teacher educator and someone who also helps parents raise their children well, I’ve been teaching frequently about how digital technology effects people’s beliefs and behaviors. Especially many people under the age of 30 have been drastically influenced because they’ve never known life without technology.

Because of the plethora of websites, blogs, online videos, Facebook posts, podcasts, print resources, and the ease of finding information with search engines, we’re inundated with knowledge. I’m not surprised when young people don’t know what to do with it all. They’re young and haven’t been taught thinking and study strategies. That’s why I teach teachers and parents to help them sift, sort, synthesize, and share based on smart criteria.

I am concerned when adults prove to me over and over again that they, too, can’t use available knowledge well. Adults should be capable of sifting and sorting through lots of information to decide what’s valid, relevant, accurate, worth repeating, complete, current, and helpful. We should recognize what’s biased, incomplete, inaccurate, outdated, irrelevant, suspicious, faulty, and untrue intentionally in order to deceive. We should then know to put that “knowledge” aside.

What maybe saddens me the most is that adults are capable of sifting and sorting well, but often choose not to. It becomes a question of character.

  • Some are blinded to truth because they’ve been surrounded by half-truths, lies, manipulations, and their own selfish agendas too long. They really may believe what they’re synthesizing and sharing after sifting and sorting is truth. This makes them dangerous and it’s nearly impossible to convince them they’re wrong.
  • Some know how bad the information is, but still pass it on to others because it serves their agenda. It may be inaccurate, incomplete, outdated, and more. These people sifted and sorted intentionally looking only for information to prove they’re right. They’ve closed themselves off from people with other opinions and values. They can now synthesize the information into something they want and share it in order to further establish their purposes. These people are dangerous, too. Their selfish self-centeredness makes reasoning with them virtually impossible.

I grieve the deception. I grieve the lack of character. I grieve for those doing the misleading. I grieve more for the confused and misled.

How are you doing at sifting, sorting, synthesizing, and sharing?