The Internet is a modern medium where people access to find information so knowledge is spread easily and quickly. Then we should ask, what is knowledge? If we consider knowledge as truth, all the non-truth are simply rumors, misinformation, propaganda, and even brainwashing stuff. The saying that knowledge is power depends on what kind of knowledge one is getting. Power can never be derived from anything that is untrue or fake.
The fact that knowledge spreads so easily and quickly on the Internet does not guarantee that truth will spread in the same manner. It all depends on the contents of the materials we see on the screen and how we accept them. What are being propagated consist of anything that people (even crazy ones) want to put on the Web. The contributors come from all walks of life with a wide range of personal integrity and experience. Hence the best approach to Internet information is to use it as a starting point where one should investigate more to get to the truth.
Truth has great values and more importantly, it empowers you to find more. It always exists in small bits and pieces scattered and buried in our daily lives and experiences. Truth is not easy to find, depending on one’s approach. The best example is the great truth about the universe. Regarding the truth that the earth is round and revolving around the sun, it took humans so long to find out until the 16th century.
With all the modern technology at our disposal, people still cannot agree on the great issues like evolution and climate change. This shows that there always exist negative forces against getting to the truth. Most of these forces are religious, ideological or profit-oriented, not natural. On the other hand, the practical illiterate farmers know from the very beginning when to sow and reap according to the different seasons. This knowledge comes from the truth that the round earth revolves around the sun which was discovered much later.
Although some scientific truth is learned in school, from books or the Internet, all the rest must be learned by experience, mistakes, and further investigation. You don’t have to teach a child gravity. He will learn it the hard way when he starts to walk and feels the pain when he falls. We must recognize that there is no easy way to learn the truth especially those about life because we only learn as we live, although some learn quicker than others.
I used to have a get-together with old friends once a while. Due to the popularity of the cell phone that can access the Internet, our conversations are increasingly being eaten up by cell phone times. The topics have also changed to the mundane exchanges about which foods are good for health, which will cure cancer, and how many times we should eat them to be healthy. As expected, there exists a growing long list of foods and ways to consume those “healthy” products. The wives are more enthusiastic than the husbands about health. They seem to take the Internet information very seriously.
One wife recommended that I should eat peanut butter every morning and use it on the banana, too. To tell you the truth, I hate peanut butter and I won’t eat it even if it will cure cancer as told. My approach has always been very simple: Regardless of what other people say, I only do what I like. I will do a little bit more if I like it more, and a little bit less if otherwise. In short, I practice moderation, avoid being swayed by the winds of words, and won’t let my personality be corroded by modern technology. I will learn the truth in my own way and in my own time.