We all need some critical thinking in this era of infodemic and groupthink as we fight COVID-19 and other issues in our societies.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and its global impact on the lives and livelihoods of people, our planet and the entire ecosystem, we are truly living in unprecedented times. The year 2020 will go down in history and, no doubt, we’ll be part of it for better or for worse. These trying times have brought out the best and worst of people, sometimes, in surprising ways.
In our everyday lives, we are constantly faced with the challenge of coming to conclusions and making quick decisions about issues. These decisions affect the lives and livelihoods of many. People can get hurt or killed, if these decisions are made without due consideration of the facts, the pros and cons. However, we are often influenced by our own biases. We tend to rely on our interpretation of issues and the views of a few people in our immediate inner circle. This is what I call the “lazy approach”.
When we are faced with crisis, our decision-making process can be negatively affected. In such a situation, there is the tendency to rely on immediacy - the most attractive and shiniest stuff, the most readily available information, the views of our inner circle, the views of the sphere of influence. We care very little whether what is being fed to us is accurate. This where “groupthink” also rears its ugly head, as we strive to stay within the comfort zone of the consensus view, discarding the facts and the opinions of outsiders. When combined with the rising infodemic fueled by “fake news”, we have a dangerous mix with disastrous consequences.
By not digging deeper to see whether what we’re told makes sense or not, we risk jumping to judgement and making decisions that endanger the lives and livelihoods of people. We should question and challenge more.
Critical thinking helps us to make the best possible decision after considering all sides of an issue. It helps us to make sure that our judgement is free from faulty reasoning by eliminating biases and misinformation.
In this era of infodemic and the dangerous consequences of groupthink, critical thinking is all the more important in our daily lives.
Please reserve some time for critical thinking. There are people whose lives and livelihoods depend on it.