The idea of “fake news” has been talked about often lately. In a digital age, anyone can post news, information, and articles—even if they’re not rooted in truth or fact.
For example, let’s say you see a headline on Instagram that catches your eye—a recent study shows how sugar is good for your health! You share it to your feed, and several of your friends share it to their feeds. When you take a closer look at the article and sources, though, you realize it isn’t a scientific article, and there isn’t research to back up the conclusion. The article was designed to get your attention, not to share true information.
- Have you ever experienced a situation like this—when you or someone you know has shared information without checking to see if it’s true? (Answers will vary.)
- How can you tell what’s real and what’s fake? What have you learned in school or elsewhere about which news or research sources to trust? (Answers will vary. Students may or may not have had classes on this topic, or may have received ad hoc advice from teachers or advisors. Students may have been told something specific by a friend or family member, or simply picked up their views on what to believe by observing what sources that person trusts.)
- Why might it be important to know what information we can trust? (Accept all reasonable answers. Give students an opportunity to really explore this. They may make connections to information influencing how we vote or what we buy. Or students may reference the need for good science for medicine, technology, etc.)
- When was the last time you took advice from an untrustworthy source? What happened? (Be prepared to share your own experience. Students should share without naming names or detailed specifics.)
Some information sources just aren’t trustworthy, and having an honest source is critical when you are basing your own reactions and choices on information received. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about listening to and heeding advice and instruction.