What’s even worse than being misinformed? Being ignorant. It’s one thing to read something that’s just plain wrong and misinforms the reader, it’s a whole different level to not know anything about a topic and spread assumptions without educating oneself. This week, I want to share two examples of complete ignorance that have caught my attention lately and I want to challenge whoever needs it to do better than that.

My husband told me about the first one. He went to Kelowna last week and while being stopped at a red light he noticed that the car next to him had a sign in the window that read: “Smart Cities = Concentration Camps”. You can feel however you want about smart cities (aka 15-minute cities), but comparing them to concentration camps? I had no words when my husband first showed me the picture. Once I tried to put into words how I felt about it, my first thought was that I really wish whoever wrote this sign would spend a week in a concentration camp and then report back. If they were still alive, that is. I might be a bit more educated about the topic than the average Canadian since I grew up in Germany, but I cannot imagine there are adults in Canada who do not know that concentration camps were the site of one of the largest genocides in history.

The other example I want to share with you is about a story that was published in the Merritt Herald (online) on July 21, about the Burn in the Forest festival happening this weekend. The story contains an image of the 2019 iteration of the festival and was shared on the Herald’s Facebook page along with a short caption that the festival is returning to Merritt for the second time. The comments that ensued had me shaking my head so hard that I almost got dizzy. They revolved mostly around the “burning” part of the story, due to the current wildfire situation and fire bans. If any of those commenters had actually clicked on the link to read the story, they would know that there is no actual “burning” involved and that two of the principles of Burning Man – which inspired the local festival – are civil responsibility and leave no trace.

Educate yourself before you share, comment, or embrace. Do better.