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Posts Tagged ‘united

Two days ago, I reminisced on my family’s time in the USA. Yes, the USA, not America.

Earlier this year, I explained why I insist on using “the USA” instead of “America”. My fuel then was a combination of geographical technicality and social inclusion.


Now I have more fuel in the form of YouTube videos. “America” is tainted — selective lenses from the press and social media bubbles sometimes sow doubt and disunity about These United States.
 

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The videos above portray the USA that I knew and experienced. This was the combined efforts of individuals and communities that operated on kindness, hope, and basic human decency.

Are they the minority? Yes, perhaps. But when you add all the minorities up, you get a majority. When you join these separate jigsaw pieces, you get a more complete picture of united states and the United States.

The USA is not just a function of its current leadership, its movies, and its broadcast media. It is about its people and what they do. Like every other country on earth, there are nasty and ignorant people there that get a lot of attention. The good ones go about their daily business without glory.

Shift your gaze and focus on the good to get a more balanced and accurate view. It is not disunited America; it is these United States of America.


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The video above summarises this week’s flogged horse on social media. The tweet below was just one of many responses.

Was this tweet timely? It was, given how the news broke about how a passenger was bloodied and dragged out of a United Airlines plane because it was overbooked.

Was the tweet funny? Yes, if you have any semblance of humour and appreciate dragging in two contexts (plane floor and phone screen).

Was the app description real? It was not, and there are at least two major clues that the text was faked to get a laugh.

First, an airline app is unlikely to feature drag and drop on a phone screen. Drag and drop is typically done with a computer mouse on a desktop. The phone or slate equivalent is tap and hold, but there is no this does not force the joke.

Second, a quick search of the Apple app store for United Airlines brings up the app and its development notes. There is no “drag and drop” update.

Why make a mountain out of a molehill?

First, the tweet could be an example of a hook for a workshop or class on detecting fake news or other questionable online content. Such an ability is important whether it is a tweet from a US President or a local funny man.

Second, it begs the question: Why create the image, tweet it, retweet it, or favourite it? Answering this question provides insights on why people create such content. It gets to the root of the issue instead of dealing with the symptoms.

I appreciate the joke, but I appreciate the need to educate people on this type of critical thinking even more.

So when is funny not actually funny? When it is based on a false premise. When are facts not actually factual? The same answer as before.


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