I guess by now we are all aware of "fake news" and what it means. Most people will associate the term with MSM and turn to the alternative news sources, such as the internet. Yet, here another danger lurks: fake persons, aka shills, who may present dangers of their own, especially if they are in the business of giving advice, outside of the sort which is general in nature. I'll give you one example of what I mean. Apparently, there used to exist a site which published erotic fiction supposedly written by a housewife and yet later, it turned out to be a man.
So how to recognise a fake? I guess if someone desires to create a fake persona online we don't really have a way to be 100% sure unless they get doxxed or self-doxx by some reason, yet, imo, there are certain signs which can betray them and their intentions. When in doubt, follow your gut feeling and stay on the safe side!
Personally I distrust everyone who will give online counselling, unless it's something general like "exercise and eat well", especially if they will go into detail discussing someone's personal situation, family conflicts, etc. Another category is the type who will always try to sell you something. It's one thing to be an affiliate and link to a product you like but it's quite another thing when someone obsessively pushes you to buy his brand of vitamins/supplements "because that's the only thing that works!"
Then you have conspiracy theorists. Sometimes they are onto something and may be even right about many things, but there is a type who will tell you that everything around you is fake and that you yourself probably don't exist, either. Generally, when the internet persona tells you that he or she alone is in the possession of (some) truth and everybody else is a shill, they are possibly a shill themselves:)
There are also fake Christians out there, which are probably the worst of all since they can promote false doctrine and that is much worse than wasting money on vitamins (which are probably harmless anyway and can even do you good). And here is an idea of mine: I may be wrong, but personally I don't trust anyone who will tell you one thing and promote another. You can't be a Bible following Christian and defend things like p0rn, for instance. You can't say that you are all for traditional family and then discourage marriage, whether directly or indirectly. You can't say that you support Biblical gender roles and then say it OK for married women to work.
I also find it rather strange when I see churches being attacked. Yes, churches aren't ideal. We aren't ideal, either. It may be that in the area where you live there is not one decent church left. It could be probably better in some situations for some people to worship at home. But to blatantly say that ALL the churches are bad and corrupted and you can only find the truth on someone's web page is a sign of a cult mentality.
If you have real life problems, please try to solve them by interacting with real life people, and not by joining an internet personality cult!
If you have any ideas, please feel free to share!
By your definition, most finnish priests (lutheran) are fake christians. :) They can be divorced, female or even transvestite or transgender.ReplyDelete
I personally distrust people who's web pages are somewhere between personal and professional. I get the impression "we are just friends chatting over a cup of coffee but let me sell you this and that".
When it comes to professional websites, in my opinion layout and language tell you a lot. For some reason tinfoil hats seem to enjoy messy, oldfashioned layout and uncivilized language.
Also, I tend to trust only those newspages where facts are told, but you cannot tell what the journalist him/herself thinks of the subject. This pretty much rules MSM out: in their articles they are ALWAYS trying to tell you what Good And Righteous People should think. That is not the idea of journalism. They should be objective and keep their opinions to themselves. But in modern world, opinions have somehow become facts.
Let's put it this way: while writing, I had some specific examples in mind, but not about Finland:) I don't think that Lutherans are fake Christians, but obviously if a priest grossly disregards the Scriptures, then it's better (imo) to maybe start looking for a another church.ReplyDelete
It could be that different Christians will disagree about what some Bible passages and commands mean and whether they are to be taken literally. If someone is an honest liberal, I will obviously disagree about his interpretations, but respect his honesty.
What I meant though, is various people who will state that they are very very traditional and then subtly promote things which aren't. Like for instance, saying they are all about modesty and then posting pictures in bikini if you know what I mean:)
P.S. I don't want to start a discussion whether bikini is modest:) Full disclosure, last time I went swimming I did wear one:) I wouldn't take selfies and post them online, tho. We all compromise our standards a bit because we live in society. I guess my problem is that some internet personalities create a little cult and then use it to promote, frankly, disruptive ideas.ReplyDelete
This has been interesting to consider, having been exposed to all of these over the years (and admittedly even having been in one category), I do have thoughts.ReplyDelete
Standing back and looking at it from a different vantage point, from a more jaded view of the Internet than I had when I encountered blogs 15 years ago. From someone who took people at face value, and expected them to take me at face value, I'm now (despite how it might seem) very wary of just about every thing I read online.
I agree with you that the Christians who decry church attendance and the "traditionalists" who disavow marriage are particularly confusing. Ditto Christians who wage personal attacks against other Christians.
It's all a little strange to me, but this is the nature of the beast when people are able to use the non-committed convenience of the Internet to build a facade of community. True community is inconvenient at times and Americans avoid being inconvenienced at all cost.
Elspeth, I'm afraid I wasn't very clear in this post so it created a bit of confusion. Today I wrote on this topic again, I hope it'll clarify things a bit:)ReplyDelete
And to comment on what you've said, I think that's what we all (those in a traditionalist camp) are starved for, a community of like-minded individuals. It's great that there are so many different view points online, but one can also take things too far, if you know what I mean. Being stuck in virtual reality all day long isn't healthy...ReplyDelete