Parenting

From The Confessional: My Family's Pandemic Conspiracy Theories Are Driving Me Crazy

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Frustrated Woman With Hand In Hair Sitting On Sofa At Home
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Being in the middle of a pandemic is hard enough, having close family wilfully spreading conspiracy theories is the last thing anyone needs

For the last several weeks, many people on social media have donned their tinfoil hats and spread wild conspiracy theories surrounding the coronavirus. Anything from anti-vax propaganda videos to accusations of Dr. Fauci singlehandedly funding a lab in China with the intent to commit biological global warfare have abounded on Facebook and YouTube.

For some of us, we can roll our eyes and move on. For others, escaping it is impossible when you live with or are related to the people who believe this nonsense. And it’s frustrating AF.

DH keeps raging "we have to do something about all this!" Okay, what? How about we continue to take care of ourselves, our home, and check in on the family? Get off the internet, quit reading all that conspiracy crap, and be a man.

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“If a conclusion supports your existing beliefs, you’ll rationalize anything that supports it,” YourBias.is states about belief bias (or confirmation bias), which helps explain why these conspiracy theorists are so relentless about spreading fake news while calling actual news “fake news.”

How exhausting it is trying to combat such false information with real facts and research. Especially to people you know and love.

My brother buys into every single wild-ass conspiracy theory he's ever encountered. I'd say it's all so embarrassing and tiresome but, if he heard that, he'd respond "That's because they WANT you to think that!"

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DH's idea of talking only about relevant subjects is to hold people's ears hostage as he rages about politics, aliens, conspiracy theories and how he was in an "almost fatal" accident nearly 65 years ago.

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SIL has bought into every crazy conspiracy theory online. She thinks vaccines are a conspiracy to poison children, fluoride lowers IQ, and pediatricians are paid informants by drug companies. It's tearing our family apart and endangering her kids.

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When one person in your family is behaving in a way that endangers other members of your family, right now especialy — by not practicing social distancing, by not heeding medical advice, by convincing others against vaccination — it can damage relationships permanently.

My MIL is nice. I like her & we get along but all she does is talk about her various ailments & medical conspiracy theories. I know I could've gotten a lot worse when it comes to MILs but it's so boring & I hate having to pretend to be interested.

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So sick of a friend's conspiracy theory addiction. Dude, you work at a gas station in Bumfuck Iowa. The government is not spying on YOU!!!!!!!

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Mom has always been susceptible to cults. She's joined the Trump-cult. She thinks she's smart, but has proven otherwise by believing nonsensical conspiracy theories. Cannot have a real conversation with this kind of gullible. Sad. Ruined our relationship.

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FIL emails us fake right wing conspiracy theories. We always respond with links to fact checking sites. He says he doesn't care if it's fake news or not cuz it "makes sense to him". We had to tell him to stop. He is part of the problem in this country.

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Cognitive biases make our judgments irrational, which means there’s a kind of misfiring going on causing us to lose objectivity. A lack of critical thinking skills, or a complete inability to think abstractly, also lead people down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole.

I have a friend who needs to remove the tin foil hat. Not everything is a conspiracy.

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Only took 32 years, but I finally snapped at DH today. He was totally carried away by some conspiracy theory, running his mouth everlasting. I screamed "Can you just shut up for five blessed minutes?!" The look on his face was priceless.

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Others have such a huge lack of self-awareness that they believe themselves to be experts on one or more areas (like, oh, I don’t know, government mind control via 5G cell phone towers).

Many people just share things without fully reading or watching what they’re sharing, but do it because other people are doing it. Some people love a good false equivalency “argument” (“devil’s advocate,” contrarianism, etc.), like comparing COVID-19 to car crash deaths.

My mom is a science denying-Trump fanatic-conspiracy theorist. Everything she believes is the antithesis to what I believe. So, no, we can't hang out & pretend all this is normal.

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DH is a right wing conspiracy nut. I'm not. Told him we'd have sex more if his beliefs were less out there and he got offended. Want him minus the crazy. Never having kids to expose them to this. Wish there was a solution. Enjoy your hand!

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YouTube conspiracy theory videos are ruining my marriage.

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All of it is bullshit, and it really, really sucks when people you love and otherwise assumed function well get sucked into things like the Plandemic propaganda.

If someone you know and love has the inability to snuff out extremely fake, partisan, ridiculous, wild misinformation for what it is — well, welcome to our confessional. Let it all out, honey.

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