Note: This column is satirical
The Internet has done many wonderful things for society, but also many evil things. We can communicate faster, but on a much less personal level. We can search for anything, but we don’t need to actually know anything anymore. Although humans generally experience a balanced give-and-take with the internet, it does have one powerful negative effect on us that tips the scales in its favor: misconceptions.
Misconceptions on the Internet can guide even the most savvy people to believe that Daddy-longlegs are the most poisonous spider on Earth, dogs have the cleanest mouth in the animal kingdom or that 120 percent of all statistics are fake. It takes a truly dedicated person to see through the lies and deceit, and sometimes it just takes an incredibly truthful story to break down misconceptions. Two such stories have recently surfaced in the news.
We all know what characteristics define a cheerleader. They’re usually young, beautiful, athletic and charismatic, but one 40-year-old mother is destroying our pre-conceived notions on her way to being a full-time NFL cheerleader.
While most of her cheering companions are still in high school or in college, Kriste Lewis goes to cheerleading practice with pictures of her two kids in her wallet, proof that she’s a more tenured and experienced woman. Don’t judge Lewis by her aged exterior, because she’s one of the toughest and most competitive women on the squad.
“All of these little tweens around me better vote for me for cheer captain,” Lewis said. “I’m friends with a lot of my teammate’s mothers, and I have no problem getting them grounded.”
Lewis isn’t exactly a mean person, but she expects the best from her squad – and nothing but the best. When the news broke that she potentially made the team, many discounted it as a joke, but Lewis doesn’t care.
“I know I’m not the stereotypical cheerleader, but I’m not fake,” Lewis said. “People better learn to accept that their mom could be an NFL cheerleader, because my kid’s mom is.”
Not unlike Lewis’ unlikely story is one of science and popular culture. The movie “Lucy” stars Scarlett Johansonn and features the premise that while all of us ‘normal’ humans use 10 percent of our brain, Lucy has been given a way to unlock the remaining 90 percent.
We’ve all heard the story that we don’t, and can’t, use our brain’s full capacity, but where did it originate? Where are the facts? Where most movies are born from writers and creative minds, “Lucy” seems to be born from the misconceived depths of the Interwebs.
“It all began when HotRodz22 started posting on Reddit,” said Cranium Jones, a prominent cognitive researcher at Harvard. “He started saying that we can only use 10 percent of our brains, and that’s why we can’t fly. Of course, the reality is that we use all of our neurons and brain tissue, just not at the same time.”
HotRodz22 is given credit for starting one of human history’s largest misconceptions. His research, which included a few Sudoku puzzles and a Rubix cube, pointed to our inept brains as the reason humans can’t breathe underwater, see through walls, or of course, fly.
Scientists, who aren’t completely entranced by the Internet, have rejected HotRodz22 notions and the premise of the movie “Lucy.” They now aim to educate the public about just how much of our brains we use. Similarly, mother cheerleader Kriste Lewis is using her non-Internet knowledge to dispel ‘facts’ that cheerleaders are all the same.
So next time you hear something on the Web, do not believe it right away. Think for a moment, talk to some educated people, and wait for your mom to get back from cheerleading practice.
Collegian Believe with Steve columnist Steven Jacobs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.