Did you see we are growing horns on the back of our skulls because of our use of smartphones? That is utterly scary...and not true. Once again, we are victims of sensationalism.
A study published by a serious scientific publication in February 2018—that made absolutely no link between our use of smartphones and the horn-growing anomaly—this week turned into an irrational frenzy and misleading headlines, including from the world's most renowned publications.
That Australian media are among those that published the most misleading headlines isn't a surprise, but definitely a disappointment, and confirms they have developed a questionable taste for headlines that drive clicks, even when that means altering the truth or deceiving readers.
59% of people share articles online without reading the content, but only the title. That means a misleading headline is enough to do the damage.
You know there is something wrong in a world where media has to correct its peers to maintain the truth. I understand how tough survival and competition is in this industry, but that's no excuse to forget one of its basic principles: check your facts.
It's fascinating to think our reliance on our devices can cause a change in the very way our bodies are structured -- but it's also the kind of idea that requires extensive follow-up and examination of the data before drawing such conclusions. Multiple publications, including The New York Times, have refuted the claims since they were originally posted, but that can't stem the viral nature of the initial piece.