[Opinion] People tend to believe in word-of-mouth instead of the truth


Madison Lenard

Instead of doing research to find the truth, people tend to accept the word of mouth from others. Illustration by Madison Lenard

Madison Friedman, Writer

In our current society there is a growing trend that has been influencing many. Instead of trying to fact check information for themselves, numerous individuals believe only what they hear instead of what they truly believe is right. This phenomenon, called word of mouth, is a common way of spreading information that allows false news to spread like wildfire.

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful advertising forms for companies. Many consumers would rather believe their friends or family over any trusted traditional media form because they’re biased. Though some entrepreneurs believe that this is the most powerful form of marketing it also has negative sides to it that people tend to get into like rumors starting.

False rumors about an individual is something people will choose to believe what they hear from word of mouth rather than the truth with. This can be rumors about someone that form because everyone has a set of opinions and beliefs. If someone hears something about a person that they know, they may be worried to stick up for them because of wanting to stay friends with the rumor spreader.

Traditionally, people most see rumors starting in school due to immaturity and competition in children, but now they can spread throughout the internet with social media being at everyone’s fingertips. Anyone can post anything at any given time, giving people the ability to take drama to an even wider population.

Rumor spreading is still seen a lot in schools because of students feeling insecure or like they have to prove themselves. Rumors tend to spread by word of mouth and cause groups of people to have a false opinion about someone they may not even know. Instead of confronting a person or asking someone directly, a person ends up choosing to believe what they hear rather than what they could know.

Of course, wanting to believe everything someone may hear is human nature because people want to trust the person giving them this information but it does not make it right. Before forming an opinion about someone, people should look more into it for themselves.

This can even go into effect with mental health because hearing false news spread about someone can make a person feel upset about themselves. Even more so if a person is already insecure then these rumors can lead confirmation to things that they may feel about themself.

Many schools have attempted to present anti-bullying and mental health sessions to educate students on the effects starting rumors may have. Some students think of these as a joke but this can be a reality for some people so it needs to have attention brought to it. Schools usually also have consequences in place if rumors were to be spread but most of the time they do not make it to the faculty.

Another factor of believing in word of mouth is following biased news pages on social media. Many feel that they are getting the real truth from these places but in reality it could just be that person wanting to believe it. This ends up causing problems with other people because someone may disagree with them because they may know the actual truth of the problem.

For example this was commonly seen with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people were following things like Instagram pages with false news about case numbers and other things when they should have looked at the Center of Disease Control’s website because that is real information from scientists and not a random person running an Instagram page.

People need to begin getting out of the unhealthy and false news reality of information spreading by word of mouth. Just because someone says something does not mean it is exactly true.