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Honestly, while getting phished and hacked are big issues, I would also worry about them being sucked into social media bubbles where they could start latching onto conspiracy theories, fake news, and the like. It was not too long ago where their generation believed it was a bad idea to believe anything on the Internet. I'm not sure what changed. I have seen my own parents fall suspect to that stuff now and then, so it does scare me.

Advice I could have used five years ago. I don’t even know how to talk to my parents about current events/politics now because we don’t share a common base of facts.

The hardest part of broaching this problem is learning to accept that, as a percentage, you're probably just as wrong about the facts as your parents are. Everyone likes to think that it's only "those people" who are foolish, subject to conspiracy, or other negative descriptors. Statistically, that's just not realistic. And even if you're 100% right, approaching people with the humbleness of assuming you're 80% wrong will allow you to have better conversations.

> you're probably just as wrong about the facts as your parents are.

It depends on the subject. If you believe that climate change doesn't exist, that we never went to the moon or that the earth is flat, you are just plain wrong and I am right.

Perhaps broach the fact that social networks are really just advertisement delivery networks, and that they found that partitioning audiences by interests let them sell you for more money.

Try opening an incognito tab and search for flat earth on youtube, and then see what videos that window gets recommended, if they don't believe you.

One usually _wants_ to stay where one feels comfortable. Human nature. Whether one realises one's in a bubble will only rarely change that.

Why not sit and carefully investigate the differences together? You are a family after all.

The difference that social media has made is that now their good friend/favorite cousin is saying the thing, not some random person on the Internet, even if it is something some random person on the Internet originally said for whatever nefarious purpose.

It was an earlier generation, but my grandfather, who was a respected scientist in his field, fell victim to "Fox geezer syndrome" in his final years. I have no idea how much money various Fox-adjacent advertisers scammed out of him.

Fortunately, my parents have never had much interest in Facebook, preferring to socialize with real friends in real life. They have their own bubble to some extent, but it's way less toxic than any online version.

> I have seen my own parents fall suspect to that stuff now and then, so it does scare me.

I think their generation has been influenced by our generations that really started using the internet and got it into every part of our lives. Sometimes I start falling for the conspiracy theories and have to check myself, and they don't have experience with the insane social media machine that exists now but didn't exist during their time.

Very true. I forget that parents were the original harbingers of the danger of the web and now, IMHO are the prime target for fake news and click bait.

Damn, I see my mum sharing all sorts of right-wing stuff on social media that is obviously fake news designed to spread virally. People are allowed to hold whatever political views they want, but the stuff she's sharing is obviously designed to enrage and cause itself to be spread.

Maybe she knows that?

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