Your Truth, My Truth
Last year the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year was a laughing emoji (it’s not even a word). We could only go up from there right? Thankfully this year Oxford Dictionary presented a word with a lot more substance . It’s a word that perfectly summed up the western world’s shock politics, think Brexit and the US presidential race.
The 2016 word of the year goes to, drumroll please, ‘post-truth’. It’s an adjective defined as, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” (Oxford Dictionaries).
Oxford Dictionaries president Casper Grathwohl spoke to the Guardian about the lasting impression this word could have on society.
“Given that usage of the term hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, I wouldn’t be surprised if post-truth becomes one of the defining words of our time,” he said.
A driver of post-truth, especially this year, has been social media. Social media is a tool that allows us to connect to a wide range of people from around the globe but it’s also connecting us with more like-minded people. From the people we follow to the articles we read it has created an echo chamber through Facebook algorithms and twitter feeds.
If someone has differing opinions to us, it is easier than ever to block, delete or unfollow. Rather than try to understand the contrary information we look to affirm our own beliefs or worldview.
Ever tried arguing with someone in the comment section? More often than not you have to agree to disagree. Just take a look at a viral post it won’t be hard to find someone trolling. Again it shows one side of social media in which it connects us but also can divide us even further from each other.
In a post-truth era where truth or fact is irrelevant what legs do we stand on? I don’t have the all the answers but I do remember seeing a church billboard which quoted Gordon B. Hinckley, stating, “When life becomes too hard to stand, kneel.”
So when the notion of questioning the truth becomes overwhelming remember it can help to put your trust in something bigger. In John 14:6, Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”
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