Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Pair of Pervasive Myths

I am a somewhat regular reader of www.snopes.com, a site dedicated to determining the validity of myths and Urban Legends. The site does a great job of researching and tracking down the origins of these myths to prove their validity or invalidity. Allow me to share 2 with you that I'm sure you have heard in the last year.

1. The Starbucks Myth

It was a few months ago a lady I know was all in a huff because her friend had heard on the radio that some American Troops had asked Starbucks to donate some coffee to the troops. Starbucks response was paraphrased as "We don't support the war and we don't support you so leave us alone!" She began to tell how her friends had already begun to boycott Starbucks for their stance.

There is just one problem with the story...It's Not True! Snopes has traced the original email back to its author and communicated with him. The story is false. We don't know of any request for coffee for troops being made, but if it was, Starbucks would not donate because they have a company policy to only donate to non-profit organizations. They make it clear that they do support the troops over seas and here in America.

2. The Cell Phone/Telemarketer Myth

"Today is the day," she said. "Today is the day that telemarketers are allowed to call your cell phones. But it's okay, I have already registered my number with the 'do not call list'." Had this woman at the conference I was at known that she had been told a false myth, she probably would not have spread a false rumor.

The truth is that there are already FCC laws in place that block the bulk of telemarketing calls anyway. There is no agency you have to register with to keep your number safe, nor is there a deadline you need to try and make. Telemarketers are not coming to our cell phones anytime soon. So, the next time you get one of those email or hear someone talking about it, you can rest easy.

The Pervasiveness of myths in our society is troubling, but so is our willingness to believe them. I am training myself to be a skeptic of almost everything that I hear, because a large chunk of it is bull. It kills me to know that I have circulated myths, even frivolous ones, in the past. I should stand for truth wherever I find it.

Until next time, friends, tell the truth.

-NF

2 comments:

Loomis said...

Did you hear the one about the Evangel football player that was suspended for partying? That's right, because it hasn't ever happened.

:)

Chip Burkitt said...

Just to be clear, there is a Do Not Call list for residential white-page listings. If you don't want to get telemarketer calls at home AND your telephone number is NOT unlisted, then it's to your benefit to list your number in the Do Not Call list. You can enter your number online at the National Do Not Call Registry (https://www.donotcall.gov). Your listing is effective for 5 years.