Barrett: Get off Facebook and just Google it

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It’s amazing that we live in an era where the internet is literally at our fingertips, and yet people seem to be more opposed to seeking information for themselves than ever before.

They’ll be sitting on a computer at home, or on their phone or tablet wherever life may be taking them that day, scrolling through cat memes, Fortnite dance videos and posts bashing the political leader du jour on Facebook, completely connected to the internet. Yet, when a question dawns on them or they’re in need of information, they don’t head to a search engine – they ask people of Facebook to deliver them what they’re looking for.

Why type out a question on Google or head to a news outlet and discern for yourself what’s reliable information, when you can have randoms with Deadpool profile pictures claiming to work at The Krusty Krab tell you what’s up?

Suddenly, being taught how to Google at journalism school – which many of my classmates still think is one of the biggest jokes to this day – makes sense. It should be straight forward. It should be first instinct for anyone looking for information, and yet, for many, it isn’t.

People don’t want to seek information, they just want it all delivered straight to them. When something isn’t, they get mad and start rants and slam campaign against those they feel slighted them, but they only have themselves to blame.

This is not only lazy, it’s a serious problem.

For the past two weeks, people have gone on to the Lacombe & Area Community Info & Watch Facebook page to complain about how the City of Lacombe didn’t tell them about the discontinuation of residential recycling pick up. They’ve complained the city didn’t ask them personally about whether or not they’d be OK with paying more for recycling services. They’ve posted questions and in some cases had misleading, speculative or just flat out wrong information given to them on a thread, and rather than fact checking those responses, some have been gullible enough to believe and then further spread that misinformation.

What a shame there isn’t a local newspaper or two, or a radio station that reported on the mere possibility of residential recycling pickup being axed well before the decision was made. What a shame a search engine isn’t available to lead one to these very reliable sources providing all the answers people are looking for.

Oh wait. There is.

And people wonder why fake news runs rampant, why newspapers are in a decline.

Information can’t be better delivered than straight to front doors, or to websites at your fingertips, but it ultimately doesn’t matter if you’re unwilling to open the paper, click the links to articles posted and read beyond the headlines to actually find it.

Facebook is a great social tool, a great marketing tool, but it’s not the be-all, end-all. It’s not a search engine and other users aren’t bots indexing and crawling the World Wide Web for what you need.

Get off Facebook, and just Google it.