Another dot in the blogosphere?

How about which?

Posted on: February 15, 2018

Lessons on critical thinking can come from unexpected places.

One such place is a YouTube video that theorises how the Tide pod challenge was perpetuated by traditional broadcast media and not social media as many presume.

Video source

For the uninitiated, the Tide pod challenge was a plainly stupid one — people bit into detergent pods and some needed medical help as a result.

If nature took its course, the people who did this would have been removed from the gene pool and mankind would be better for it. But instead of predictably blaming social media or calling out the pod eaters, the creator of the video analysed how the broadcast media played up a dying story.

This video provides a key lesson in communication.

One oft quoted lesson is that it is not just WHAT you say, but also HOW you say it. That is a smart thing to learn. A wise thing to learn is that WHO you say it to and WHEN you say it also matter.

But perhaps the most important question to consider is: WHICH story do you choose to tell?

The broadcast media had the opportunity to report accidental overdosing of vitamins by children — something that happened more often than Tide pod eating — but it chose to focus on stupid human behaviour. The bright and shiny stories distracted from what was important.

Deciding which story to propagate is important. It precedes the what, how, who, and when. This decision deals with the WHY of storytelling.

This is why I choose to focus on education instead of schooling or training; flipped learning over the flipped classroom; video games for thinking and value systems instead of just content; empowerment over engagement.

All the latter examples are more current and acceptable. However, they are the lower hanging fruit that distract from the more challenging but also more worthwhile fruit higher up.

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