Overcoming conspiracy and crisis

When conspiracy theories and rumors are on the rise

Since 2016, the number of people who believe what they want has increased dramatically. Some of us have become fact-resistant.

As we are dealing with the impact of the coronavirus, the world has become quieter in some places much louder in others. Telling rumors and conspiracies, opinions and chatter from facts takes effort.

Is it science or superstition?

Have you heard the story that Bill Gates wants to implant a chip into every person? Or that the government adds a substance to our drinking water that makes us terribly tired?

Far right extremists grab the opportunity to blame the Jews for the pandemic. 

Many Americans think Corona is a hoax (we’re at 89,874 deaths, 1,496,509 reported infections and the number of new infections is constant, while it is sinking in many other countries as of 05/18/20.)

Don’t laugh at crazy

At the height of the recent refugee crisis, Germany made a terrible mistake. They didn’t take the angry protesters seriously. Americans made the same mistake in 2018, and I was one of them.

A few days ago, flat earther Mike Hughes died while attempting to launch himself 5,000 feet into the air with a homemade rocket.

Laughing at people is a sharp sword that can make people angrier than any conspiracy theory could. We should take everyone seriously and address the root of things, the fear and discomfort that makes an increasing number of people fact-resistant and willing to believe in fiction more than facts.

The more condescending and ignorant we are, the faster superstition and false beliefs will rise.

The difference between conspiracies and science

We construct conspiracy theories in a way that they are difficult to disprove. How could you prove that Elvis is not alive or that we are not living in The matrix?

Getting through to someone who believes Bill Gates is responsible for corona is a challenging task. 

When a scientist has a theory, they are eager to be proven wrong to learn how to perfect their science. They put their facts to the test.

How could you put someone’s superstition to the test or debate it constructively?

Conspiracy theories use confusion and insecurities to create a false sense of control and comfort.

I second this statement by Seth Godin:

“Reality doesn’t care whether or not we believe in it, but it’s more useful for all of us when we understand it.”

Seth Godin

What you can do to improve communication and happiness

Communicate effectively

Mostly when I use this expression I am referring to getting through to people and influencing them. Here, I am talking about something else.

Ask yourself: 

What percentage of my communication is

  • Talking about others
  • Listening to others speaking about others
  • Spreading rumors
  • Listening to others spreading rumors

And what percentage of your communication is sharing your genuine message (of love, humility…)

Then work on decimating useless and harmful communication.

Use your critical thinking skills

Critical thinking means a rational, unbiased analysis of facts. It includes the questioning of evidence and takes the agenda of whoever presents you with a theory into account.

A while back I wrote: How to recognize fake news.

Adaptability is the top survival skill, and a crisis can be an opportunity if you’re able to adapt and address the changing needs of people.

You don’t even have to be good at thinking. All you have to do is think for yourself.