Is COVID-19 prompting you to go down a rabbit hole on youtube leading you to all sorts of conspiracy theories? Maybe you’re wondering who is behind COVID-19 anyway?
Of course, during these times, conspiracy theories are on a rise, and they infiltrate our Facebook feeds and youtube channels. Usually, these therapies go against the mainstream view and widely accepted reasons and opinions about the state of affairs. And not surprisingly, they tend to continue on their own and grow legs with each share, like and tag. Some of us are at risk of engaging with conspiracy theories more so than others. Why and who?
- Suspiciousness: Those with a tendency to be suspicious and believe in the paranormal.
- Narcissism: having an inflated view of oneself with the need for external validation, potentially believing in holding a superior knowledge to others.
- Worry: about your own health and mortality.
- Gullibility: failure to distinguish between good quality research and critically evaluate information and information that might be disseminated by a celebrity who has no scientific or medical background.
- Rejection of science: in favour of pseudoscience.
If you have a tendency to delve into the world of conspiracy theories, it’s important we use critical thinking and stimulate analytical thinking. Everyone benefits from challenging their thinking at an early stage and consider all of the different factors that are impacting your decision making.
I urge you to be mindful of spreading misinformation and the effect this might have on people around you. Even if you’re doing it for pure entertainment without appreciating how some other people might be affected as a result of reading your Facebook update. Be a responsible citizen, keep your social distance, educate yourself without fuelling panic and be accountable for what you say and post online.