Ronda, Lolo and Us

On Saturday, UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey made quick work of undefeated challenger Bethe Correia at UFC 190.  By quick, I mean 34 seconds quick.

Her last win took all but 14 seconds.  Before that?  16 seconds.

Rousey’s punctuated dominance has been blowing up the internet.  And nothing is more combustible than the Twitterverse:

But in the starfield of tweets reacting to Rousey’s victory, only one made headlines.

Featured this morning on USA Today Sports‘ homepage (while also being prominently featured on their For The Win section’s homepage) was this headline about Lolo Jones:


(Apparently she said something brash…)

Even Sports Illustrated perpetuated the story on Twitter

Eliciting reactions like this:

But what was it?  What did she say?  Some might be asking – who is Lolo Jones?

She isn’t a fighter – not even close.  She’s a track and field athlete.  That means she runs (and hurdles) for a living.  Here’s her original tweet:

Clearly, this was a joke.  One that follows Kevin James’ character’s line of logic in the movie Here Comes the BoomA joke which she continued to run with (pun intended) in order to help the obtuse fill in the blanks…

Thankfully, someone with journalistic integrity (James Dator) came to truth’s aid:

SB Nation’s blog title (above) has been succinctified to say “Stop it, internet” (I know that’s not a real word.  Maybe Oxford will add it to its Dictionary someday?)  But if you click the link, you’ll notice this is an abbreviated appendage to the actual title which reads “…stop being dumb, Internet”.

Yes, please! (I wish…)

…but it will never happen.  Consider USA Today‘s aforementioned Lolo headline had 6K shares when I first noticed it at 10am.  As of 1:30pm, it has 11K shares…and climbing.  “Dumb” is being multiplied.

While the internet is certainly a treasure trove of wondrous information it is also a cesspool of damning misinformation.  We, as stewards of our own minds, must sift through its contents.  I, for one, want to approach things critically.  To be slow to speak (share) and quick to listen (research).  To honor the universal moral maxim of “treat others as I want to be treated” or as Jesus amplified, “to Love my neighbor as myself”.  And this requires an attention to context.

This is precisely the reason I wrote my previous blog “How (Not) to Read (the Bible)“.  If the world managed to select, edit and perpetuate a distortion of a silly tweet for its own gain, what of the weightier things of consequence?  What else is being peddled as true that demands further investigation?

Gossip is excellent clickbait.  But bait is attached to a hook.  The hook to a line.  The line to a rod.  The rod to a fisherman.  The fisherman to a knife…

Perhaps we would be wise to be more discerning?