Being skeptical is really good. It can make you question everything you have a doubt on. This, in the long term, save a lot of time and money. It also helps to be a better person. With so many spammers, rumor-mongers and misinformation increasing day by day, it is really essential to be skeptic. People are often bombarded with false claims, misconceptions and lies in the media, books and over internet too. Sometimes, you need to question certain information and rumors in order to check whether or not they are at all true. This is a healthy dose of doubt and question to probe about the truth.
So, how can you be a skeptic in a positive way? Here are some tips and guidelines for you:
#1: Inspect & Think
First, you have to inspect and think seriously about the information. There are many people who make up different stories. This can be for many reasons such as their habits, for gossiping or even for jealousy. You need to keep the facts straight by inspecting and thinking about the information you heard or read.
#2: Ask Questions
You have to ask pointed questions about the information and also expect some specific answers. For instance: if anyone tells you that the information was found in the media, then ask where, when and the context. You can also check the sources in order to determine whether or not they are valid or just a made up story.
#3: Check Other Reliable Sources
When you read a story that aren’t sure about, research the topic on other news websites. Usually if a number of news sources have reported the same story, then it is (only slightly) more likely to be credible. What’s great about being reported on multiple news sources is that skeptic websites like Snopes and Politifact will then check and verify if a story is real or not.
#4: Try To Find the Bottom Line
You will often find some emails are too luring in order to make you believe some outrageous information. For an example: “Free Smartphone”, “Free Laptops” etc. You have to be skeptical about such information instead of falling for these types of sales pitches. Getting into the bottom line can provide you the actual information behind the false information provided to you. These are often marketing and sales tactics to lure the people with false information or half-truths.
#5: Checking The Facts
Whatever you hear on the news may not be true. There are many sources of news that have a reputation for misinterpreting information. They are either biased or not aware of the fact. Many news consumers tend to believe whatever the news media tell them. But you should not believe instantly. You have to check the facts about everything that you hear on the news. This can be a good way to know about the reality rather than believing on the biased facts that are presented by many news channels. Thanks to internet and also many other reliable sources you can check the facts behind any news.
#6: Cultivate the Mindset
In order to be a skeptic, you have to cultivate a skeptical mindset. In fact, in the academic world too there are several examples of such accepted facts which are exposed over time as false and ridiculous. The skeptics have proved many accepted belief and facts to be false and wrong. So, you to cultivate that mindset by questioning everything and getting into the depth of the information. Search for the real information and truth to solve any doubts in your mind related to any information.
#7: Test the Facts Against the Reasons
It is very important to test the facts frequently against your own reasons. You have to think about what you are hearing and listening to. If you hear something from someone then you tend to accept it if you again hear the same from a different source. In this case, if you do not think objectively and check the facts about what everybody is telling you then your arguments can be perceived as misleading by rest of the people who have already done thorough research. So, you need to check and research on the facts of what you are telling to others.
#8: Remember the Benefits & Results
It is always important to remember the results and its benefits before you try something. If you want to be a skeptic then you have to listen, check and test properly. This will help you to open your eyes and will show you the truth. You can get over those myths, misleading information, rumors etc. different sources and people spread out several rumors and misleading information every day. Becoming skeptical can help you to research and find out the truth behind any stories being told.
#9: Test The Statement
You can test the statement made by someone in order to check whether it is true or not. Suppose, if someone tells you that keeping the windows open while driving can save some gas, you can try it out. In this case you will not lose anything. In fact, you will be able to know whether or not the information is right or wrong. You can then tell people that you have already tested it and it does or doesn’t work. But if some advertisements tell you to buy a gadgets worth some $89 which can help you to double your mileage, save gas and so on, it will not be a good idea to test them.
Being skeptic can not only help you to question other’s beliefs and thoughts but also yours. Never forget to question your thoughts and facts before your speak. Otherwise you will become the rumor-monger. Spreading fallacious information is not at all good. When you are getting any kind of information, make it a habit to crosscheck it, question it and find the facts. This will help you to know the truth as well as it will help you to understand the facts and not the myth. Rumors are easy to spread these days with so many options available. So, try to find some reliable and genuine sources to find out the truths and real information.