It would be one thing if baby boomers read things on the internet and recognized them as fake news, but you have to blame certain politicians for turning everything they don’t want to hear into fake news.
Now for some true news. Guess who the biggest fake news spreaders are? Give up? Baby boomers, my friends, are fertilizing the infosphere with erroneous information at a rate greater than any other demographic. Sad but true, older Americans are more likely to share articles from fake news domains and disreputable sources. Researchers looking at 2016 Facebook posts found little sharing of fake articles excepting persons over 65. The Social Media and Political Participation Lab and Princeton University, found that on average, users over 65 shared nearly seven times as many articles from fake news domains as the youngest age group did.
How do you explain the boomer propensity to share false articles? Perhaps they think naively believe if it shows up on Facebook it must be true. They must not have alternative news sources by which they could fact check what they are reading in order to become more discerning. Another theory is that they are just lazy. They read something that is what they want to believe and have no inclination to follow up to ascertain if it’s true. A third, and more ominous possibility, is that they know it’s false but just want to pass it off as true to piss people off. I could surmise what political affiliation some boomers might have if they fall into this last category, but that just might be fake news as well. Last, but not least, there’s the theory that boomers have just gotten dumber. The bullshit meter just doesn’t work like it used to, sad but too true.
Come on boomers! You’re better than this! You were part of the generation that marched for an end to the Vietnam war. You protested and marched for civil rights legislation. You are supposed to speak truth to power, not share lies and bullshit. There’s enough fakes (people and ideas) in our world right now. Boomers ought to take some pride in having enough sense not to spread falsity and make it worse.
And proud at least to not be as bad as the Russians.
Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. His mystery novel, Head Above Water, is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can also visit his author page here.