Survival Tips for The Misinformation Age Online


March 22, 2020 – Day 5 of quarantine

The 3 things humans fear most are:

The Unknown

The Unpredictable

The Uncontrollable

This pandemic is ALL of these things.

As I am writing this post, someone I love dearly is on their way to be tested for Coronavirus. They became symptomatic. Their eldest adult child and partner are both extremely ill and have already been tested but are still, after 4 days, awaiting test results from the CDC.

The Unknown, The Unpredictable, and the Uncontrollable are all living in my head right now – as I am sure they are living in the heads of most people all over the world. But there are things we can do – RIGHT NOW – to help ourselves and others get through this difficult time without having anxiety, panic attacks, or emotional breakdowns.

I know that I am very unique in my decision on January 11th to deactivate all my social media accounts.

I also know that many people are relying on social media as a way to stay connected and informed about the spread of Coronavirus.

I further know that social media is a hotbed breeding ground for gossip, anxiety-producing misinformation, falsehoods, fear-mongering, and panic-inducing clickbait.

When I chose to leave all my social media outlets this blog went from 250 to 104 readers. So I really get how important social media is to most of you. But I would like to ask you to do a few things in order to protect yourself and your family from succumbing to needless worry, panic, and scams.

1. Double-check questionable information and product articles you see online by going to these websites:

2. DO NOT CLICK ON LINKS inside EMAILS sent to you claiming to be from ANY BRANCH OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, THE CDC, OR ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION. These are ALL scams. The U.S. Government does NOT SEND OUT EMAILS.

3. A good general rule always is DO NOT CLICK ON LINKS inside ANY EMAILS. Even if they come from trusted friends – there are many computer viruses that are coded to take-over the address lists and contacts of the computer they infect and then mail themselves out to every person on that list to self-replicate  – WITHOUT THE COMPUTER OWNER EVEN KNOWING. 

4. Do not forward or repost information that is unproven, unsubstantiated, frightening or questionable. There are much healthier ways to get attention online.

5. Keep young children off cell phones, tablets, and social media. If you don’t want to believe me – hear it from the horse’s mouth – the people who invented this technology –

“On the scale between candy and crack cocaine, it’s closer to crack cocaine,” Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired and founder of, told Bowles. Similarly, Athena Chavarria, who was Mark Zuckerberg’s executive assistant at Facebook and now works for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, told Bowles: “I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children.”

Tim Cook CEO of Apple  – “I don’t have a kid, but I have a nephew that I put some boundaries on,” Cook said, according to The Guardian. “There are some things that I won’t allow; I don’t want them on a social network.”

I believe it is through the little things we do every day that can begin to “bend the curve” on this pandemic – and not just physical things, like washing your hands, and social distancing – but these simple steps I’ve listed above and many others.

Stay Safe –

Until next time …

Categories: #cmralph, Life, Uncategorized

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