Benjamin Franklin once said: “Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.” This quote is especially true in today’s day and age. Why is that? Because whether you like it, or not, there is a plethora of false information that is consistently being posted on the internet and broadcasted over the airwaves. A lot of that information even comes from what could be perceived as a “reliable source,” such as any large news network or website.

Take, for example, the presidential race that is currently going on. You see many different sources saying “according to a recent poll, this candidate has the most support and is ahead of this candidate by 25%.” But the information isn’t necessarily disclosed to the viewers is where those numbers came from. Was it a poll of a few people standing around a water cooler? Maybe a select few political figures of a particular state? Or maybe the numbers and results just popped into the head of whoever was in charge of getting more viewers, listeners, or readers that day. Ultimately, that is what the media wants ¬— to get as many viewers/listeners/readers as possible, because what do you think the result of that is? More money. Just as long as they are getting paid, they don’t necessarily care about the effects they have on the American people.

Have you ever turned on the evening news and watched countless stories of people who were attacked, places that were robbed, or damage that was in some way done to an area near you? That’s because they are stories that will keep people interested and tuning in for more since they somehow pertain to them. You don’t see or hear about the little kid who climbed a tree to save his elderly neighbor’s cat or any other uplifting stories as much because people will think “aw, that’s great,” and then move on. It’s the more frightening stories that will keep people’s attention. Since the media is aware of this, falsified information will be slipped into stories in certain places so it will gain even more traction and attention.

For those of you who are not familiar with the phrase “Hollywood magic,” it is essentially all of the editing and special effects that are put into movies to make them seem as realistic as possible. Well, by doing essentially the same thing with information instead of blockbuster graphics, this phrase can also be applied to commercials, news stories, websites, and any other media you may consume. Just about anyone has the power to sprinkle some of this “magic” onto whatever they put out into the world nowadays, especially people who are a part of the media.

Yes, the people who are a part of the media are only doing their jobs and are trying to pay the bills, which is understandable. We aren’t telling you to go and protest outside of your local news station, and we aren’t trying to tell people what to think, we just want them to think. Just remember, not everything you see, read, or hear is true, and not everything you see, read, or hear is false.