How often do you read a social media post, think to yourself: “Wow, that’s amazing/crazy/unbelievable!”, and then ‘like’ or re-post instantly it because you just have to pass on this great news or show your approval or disapproval of it?
Judging from the plethora of intolerant, ill-informed, inaccurate and downright idiotic memes on Facebook alone, the answer for most people would seem to be “very often”.
While this seem like just a bit of harmless fun that couldn’t possibly hurt anyone, as social media is now one of the major conduits for contemporary human thought, and indeed the primary source of news and information for many, blindly reposting or promoting posts can not only contribute to making you and everyone else dumber, it can have extremely serious, real-world consequences.
This particular article focuses on the much reposted ‘ripe bananas cure cancer’ meme-myth that promulgates the utterly false idea that really ripe bananas contain a substance that is able to “kill cancer”.
You might be thinking: “Surely no-one would be silly enough to believe THAT!”, but imagine that you or a family member had been diagnosed with cancer, and then no doubt you might be more willing to believe anything that could help to really defeat such an awful disease.
This is of course an extreme example, but as the article points out, it can lead to false hope, unnecessary worry and even delaying proper treatment that might result in the death of a patient if they think believe some bogus, phoney ideas that seem to have legitimate, pseudo-scientific sounding points.
The take-away here is as the author recommends: share with care! There are many websites that have done the hard work of checking the facts for you, so next time put in just a moment’s intelligent thought and search and you can quickly increase your IQ, instead of announcing to the world your ignorance:
Cancer and ripe bananas: How bogus claims can harm your health and the people you love
Bananas prevent cancer – debunking another myth about food