I have always been captivated by conspiracy theories. The first one that caught my attention was about the Illuminati. Some theorists said that this group dominated every sector in the world, including the show business. Others went as far as saying that even the good old Pope was a member of it and that he was nothing but a puppet of evil higher beings.
The latest one that I read was regarding the coronavirus plaguing the entire world since the end of 2019 and blew up at the beginning of 2020. The official report was that it spread from a pangolin to a human at Huanan Seafood Market in China, where live animals were being sold. However, conspiracy theorists wanted to believe that the infected animal was somehow implanted in the market, meant to cause the coronavirus outbreak. They also claimed that it was a biological weapon that the country devised to subdue the economy and the other opposing countries.
In truth, I did not spend my precious hours looking up such conspiracy theories because I was suspicious of everything I heard on the news or read online. Although no one could be 100% factual, I paid attention to the articles to pass the time. I found it interesting to see that some people made it their life’s work to prove or disprove life as we knew it. A few of them might be on to something, for sure, but a whole lot more probably hoped to gain a fanbase and get a TV show on the History channel.
Now, my enthusiasm for conspiracy theories was not shared by my beloved mother. Every time I played one on the massive TV in our living room, she would scrunch up her nose, cover her eyes, and yell at me. “Hey, I told you to stop watching that! If you don’t want to stop, watch it in your bedroom or anywhere that I wouldn’t see or hear it!”
My mother was not a war freak for the record — she merely acted like that because she’s gullible with conspiracy theories. It was easy for her to believe every little thing that the theorists would say. For instance, when we watched one of Shane Dawson’s conspiracy theory videos about the iPhone recording your conversations, she ditched her new phone at once. When people talked about celebrities being programmed by aliens or the Illuminati, she took note of their names and never watched them again. So, to avoid increasing the number of items she must ditch or folks she must steer clear of, Mom forbade me from showing her another conspiracy theory.
Nevertheless, I always say:
Keep An Objective Mind
The first thing you need to do is watch or read the conspiracy theories objectively. You can gasp or frown if you feel like it, but try not to start pointing fingers, just like what the theorists are practically doing. Instead, your train of thoughts should be, “Okay, so this is their opinion on the matter. I wonder how the experts view it.”
By doing so, you acknowledge that the conspiracy theories may or may not be valid. You are not discounting them, but you are not accepting it entirely. Thus, when the experts disprove it, you will not feel like a fool for believing lies.
Look For Facts
Secondly, conspiracy theorists typically look for evidence to back their claims. They always present it in a believable way that will make you think, “Is this genuinely happening without the rest of the world knowing?” But before you get carried away, you should figure out if their source is reliable or not.
One example of a reliable source is a well-known organization that studies the subject of discussion. With regards to the COVID-19, that will be either CDC or WHO. Of course, an unreliable source is a Facebook user who is merely commenting on what they assume they understand.
Avoid Getting Scared Immediately
Furthermore, many conspiracy theories I have seen are meant to scare people and doubt the things they have known all their lives. For what reason, I do not know precisely. So, as long as you don’t hear the theorists’ words coming out of experts’ mouths, you should hide inside your bedroom and feel afraid of everything in the outside world.
Remember That Most Conspiracies Are Nothing But Theories
You also need to keep in mind that conspiracy theories are created by individuals who have shown interest in an old idea that has already been shunned in the past. Some claim to be experts on the subject, but that’s only because they have theorized about it for years. It still does not mean that they went to college to study what they keep talking about.
Alas, my mother still refuses to watch conspiracy theory videos or at least read about them. I cannot convince her to open her mind about them, but perhaps I can do that to you. Remember the tips I’ve mentioned above whenever you come across an unproven theory.