People Don’t Care about Sources

I’d like to think I have a fairly open blog. I try to look at issues from all sides before I come to a decision, and I’m certainly able to admit when I’m wrong. (Though I typically refrain from posting in absolutes, which makes it much easier to be pigeon holed into one side of an argument or another.)

I’ve had a number of Facebook scuffles over the years. I’ve had posts that are very well read and posts that get ignored. I pay attention to my statistics to see which posts catch people’s interests and which don’t.

I’d like to think most people who read my posts are ready to think about an issue some.

But even with all of that, perhaps *the* thing that surprises me the most is how few people actually click through to the articles I link to in my posts. True, I haven’t done some sort of academic study on this. It’s all anecdotal. But I’m always amazed when I check to see those “clicked links” numbers. Hundreds of people might read an article. I don’t think I’ve ever seen more than 5 out of those hundreds who actually clicked the links.

My takeaway from this is that people generally want to think how they think. If an argument they hear agrees with what they think, they accept it and move on. If it disagrees, they ignore it. I get baffled how Trump can make the claims he makes and not have the entire country just laugh at him, but then I remember those statistics from my blog.

Often, it seems all you have to do to get someone to believe you is to say something forcefully from a position of authority. And people believe the force and the authority. They don’t question.

I wish more people would. But if even my target audience won’t click them, then I can’t imagine many others who will. And judging from my Facebook posts, this includes people who even click through to read my blog post in the first place. There are often some who will show up, ignore practically everything I’ve written on a subject, and then blithely prattle on about it. The internet equivalent of someone coming up to you in the middle of a discussion with your friends and then blurting out something that was already discussed ten minutes ago.

Please. Pretty please. From the bottom of this librarian’s heart. Click the links to articles that are cited. Evaluate their sources. Figure out if they can be believed or not. You never know what they might actually lead to.

(Then again, maybe you all don’t click the links I post because you trust me *that much*. In which case, I’m flattered. But please click the links anyway.)

That is all.

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