Ronda Walker: Celebrating National Daughters Day

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A 1938 radio broadcast by actor Orson Welles had most of the country convinced Martians had invaded planet Earth. How could people be so gullible? How could they hear the broadcast and react with complete hysteria fearing their imminent demise? The key to the success of the hoax was Welles’ use of radio – the primary source of information at that time. The 1930s was the Golden Age of radio, nearly 30 million American households had one and it was usually at the center of the home. The radio was a beloved and trusted source of news and entertainment so Welles use of radio, coupled with his tone and delivery, was all done to make it sound just like an authentic news bulletin. And it worked, people believed what they heard and reacted accordingly.

Yesterday my Facebook newsfeed was filled with lovely pictures of parents and their daughters celebrating National Daughters Day. Oh such warm and fuzzy fun on social media! We all love our daughters so why not share pictures of them, lots and lots of pictures of them.

That is all fine and good except I can find no evidence that yesterday was, in fact, National Daughter’s Day. After a brief Internet search I did find that August 11, 2014 was National Sons and Daughters Day, but even that source of information seemed suspect. The only sources of information I found about a day to celebrate our children were actually amateur blogs, nothing official. Was yesterday, in fact, National Daughters Day? I don’t know and neither do you, which makes my point exactly. The Internet said it, so it must be true. Yeah, just like Welles and his Martians.

Why do so many of us believe everything we read on the Internet? Your friend posted a picture of her daughter with a nice caption so you did the same. If twenty friends are celebrating National Daughters Day then it MUST be National Daughters Day so you jumped on board too. Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing your love for your daughter on Facebook. But there is everything wrong with believing outright what you read and hear without question or fact-finding.

Celebrating daughters on social media is fun and innocuous but what if the misinformation we are so quick to share is hurtful…hurtful to an individual, community, or nation.

Remember when we were all so upset at the news of Betty White’s death? Then we were outraged for the little girl who got kicked out of KFC because her injuries from a dog mauling were too gruesome, and then there was that time your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.

When did we as contemporary Americans stop thinking for ourselves? We live in the information age, yet we are as underinformed as ever. Did your parents not teach you the adage don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see?

That is not to say we should be constant critics or doubters. It means, when we read or hear something we should never accept it as truth from that one single source alone, dig deeper. Some of my greatest lessons in childhood were at the dinner table after church each Sunday. My father and I would critically and respectfully discuss the sermon. Did we believe our preacher to be a liar? Of course not! But we did not base our faith on his words alone; rather we went directly to the primary source of information for confirmation or explanation.

Unfortunately, for most Americans, random blogs and errant Internet commentaries have become their primary sources and the misinformation spreads like wildfire. When did we decide to turn over our minds to the wizard of the Internet and to believe hook, line, and sinker the frequent fallacies perpetuated not just online but on the 24/7 television news cycle and radio as well. There is a great conversation that could be inserted at this point about honesty and integrity in media, but my greater point is that we should never rely on one single source of information.

Here’s how it works, you are on your computer checking Facebook and you see the tragic news that Betty White has died. Before you share the story on your wall and comment “R.I.P. to my favorite Golden Girl”, take a moment and Google “Betty White” and see if any legitimate news articles pop up detailing the tragic news of her death. See how easy that was?

If the subject of the article is more complicated, for example, you read that a Federal government shut down will end all garbage collection in your neighborhood for the next six months. Before you panic and begin digging a landfill in your backyard, you have a few options. First, call your Congressman. Congressional offices are quite adept at debunking fiction. Or call your Mayor’s office or City Council representative and ask them if what you read is actually going to happen. All of these phone numbers are easily accessible online or in your old school phone book. You will quickly learn that there is no direct correlation between a Federal government shut down and local waste management.

A good rule of thumb when researching an issue is to delve into at least ten sources with the majority being primary sources. These sources include books, newspapers, online articles, and individuals knowledgeable on the issue. Once you take just a little bit of time and research a few primary and secondary sources and gather as much information as you can then the puzzle pieces fall together and the picture is clear.

Be informed. Whether you are talking about National Daughters Day, or the anti-vaccine movement, or Russia bringing back Cold War era mini-subs you need to understand the issue for yourself. We would all do well to turn our television off, turn our radio off, and shut down our computers more often and simply observe the world around us.

But just in case there is such a thing as National Daughters Day and I completely missed an opportunity to brag on my girl, here is a picture of my smart, funny, beautiful daughter!

Ronda M. Walker is a wife, mother of four, and member of the Montgomery County Commission.

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69 Comments

  1. True, true, true. I worry about the posts being that are false and exists only to stir infighting. I am that I am old so my time in on earth will relativity short. No, I am not suicidal……but relieved!!!!

  2. Apparently you can find pages and articles for this day dated as far back as 2011 si far, so be it. Some things are not a government officiated day like National Nurses Day/Week, but have been celebrated as such for several years (NND/W since the 1960’s). Again, so be it.

  3. Who cares if it really isn’t national daughters day. We celebrate our daughters everyday. Just be glad people are having a positive effect and posting positive things about someone they love then the other garbage they could be posting. The time you spent researching this I’m sure could have been spent doing something more meaningful. Maybe tomorrow we should make it don’t read your blog day. Sorry I wasted my time reading this. I could have been celebrating national son day. I guess all the hype about nurses unite posts is just some conspiracy act also. So what if people celebrated their daughters why ruin such a sweet gesture.

      • I understand the authors thoughts – National Daughters Day or not, we need to be careful what we just post because everyone else is doing it. What if the next info you decide to post just because everyone else is hurts someone, maybe even yourself. We try to teach our kids to stand up for themselves, think for themselves, don’t follow the crowd – then we post about National Daughter Day because we don’t want our kids to think we don’t love them like “all the other people who are posting it”. Just check your facts – I love my son and I tell him. He knows it whether I post it on Facebook or not. Have a great National Whatever Day it is today 🙂

    • Agree!!!!!!!!!! Who CARES that it really wasn’t National Daughter’s day! It was so nice to see everyone’s photos and happy faces! You don’t see that many happy faces at the grocery store on a given day. People need to lighten up!

  4. This article was a bit harsh. I completely agree with what you are saying but maybe you should have chosen a more negative trend to base your rant on. There is nothing wrong with people celebrating their children. It may not be an official day according to the government but if this gives people a reason to post positive and uplifting things on social media, I say, go for it. Times have changed and social media has exploded. I believe social media has become a huge part in how our young adults communicate to one another and they need to see more positive posts and less of the negative and critical.

    • The reason she used “National Daughter’s Day” as an example was not to say people are wrong for celebrating their children; it was to prove the point that people are followers and copiers! It wasn’t National Daughter’s Day yesterday. But people posted statuses as if it was just because other people were doing it! People don’t check facts. It’s scary. And not only that, it shows just how powerful social media is. This is not harsh. This is a great point.

  5. I could not agree more! This is a serious problem. It seems no one thinks for themselves anymore. It’s sad.

    I always Google the questionable posts I see on Facebook, and most of the time my gut is right.

    The people taking offense to this article/blog may just be embarrassed because they’re the gullible ones you’re referring to!

  6. My google search on this topic (after my celebratory daughter post was full swing with over 100 likes) revealed that Daughter’s day is the 4th Sunday of September OR September 25, OR October 1 . . . or Sons and Daugher’s day is August 11 (so no 10 sources agree) . . . in short – I will never regret celebrating my daughter (on a valid holiday or not) – but certainly a sobering point on fb rumors

  7. Your point is well taken. It’s not about National Daughters Day, which is harmless. Who cares? Post pics of your kids. We all do it every other day of the year anyway. Although I did feel bad that I didn’t do it yesterday until I research it and found no evidence of the so called holiday.

    The point is when we blindly believe and repeat or repost what our friends post without researching the validity of it first. Don’t be sheep people. Think for yourself! Be responsible when passing along information.

    • I should clarify I found no evidence of the holiday being celebrated on Sept 24th. I did find what the previous commenter found about the 4th Sunday in September or the 25th or Oct 1st.

  8. Ronda, I ran into this same predicament as you (What IS National Daughters Day?). Your post summed up my sentiments EXACTLY. I love my daughter, and will gladly share pictures of her, but I’m not blind follower of “the Internet”. Thanks.

  9. If you google- you are correct. It also shows September 27 as national daughter s day and I had the exact thoughts you put into words. Scary how people have become sheeple

  10. Totally agree except for your delivery. Yes we are quick to jump on a cute bandwagon of here’s the dog ate my homework or ice bucket challenge. We live in a networking society that has really prompted so much ‘copycat’ mentality. So I’m all for personal responsibility when it comes to chosing daycare for my children, vaccinations, dentists, and applying to colleges, but more than that to slap someone on the hand and make it my responsibiliy to be careful with what I post just because someone might not be the researcher they need to be…… Isn’t ok. I’m only responsible for me and mine Not the decisions of whether or not someone chooses to participate in “jump on bubble wrap day”

  11. Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” broadcast was not a hoax. Some people just failed to hear the introduction, which made clear that it was fiction.

  12. While what you wrote may be true, we do tend to believe everything we see on Facebook without checking it out. However, I searched National Daughters Day and September 25th is the day I posted a tribute to my daughter at 9:30 pm on September 24th but my daughter was recognized!

  13. Well said! I actually googled National Daughter’s Day to verify it existed and happily found your blog post. Sadly many are Internet lemmings…

  14. So why not post your rant when Betty White was supposedly dead rather than use something beautiful to point out that your fellow humans are so stupid and gullible? I for one really enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful pictures of mothers and daughters posted yesterday and will use any opportunity to show off my lovely girls….I could really care less if it was national daughters day or not. It was a beautiful display on my news feed and that’s all that matters. I guess some people will be a Debbie downer for the rest of their lives and use their misery to point out the faults of other people. I hope your superiority complex and negativity is not passed onto your beautiful daughter.

    • Sounds like this hit a nerve with you because you were one of the followers/copiers. The point of this article was not to judge people for celebrating their children; it was to show that so many people follow one another. You posted about National Daughters’ Day because someone else on your news feed posted about National Daughters’ Day. The Internet – especially Facebook – has become an outlet for people to “one up” one another. I don’t even think this is about being gullible; I think this is about being trendy and wanting to do what everyone else is doing. I’m all for people celebrating family. Yesterday was not National Daughters’ Day, though. It’s fine for people to post whatever they want; however, the point of this article was to show that even though no such holiday existed yesterday, everyone took to the Internet to post pictures of their daughters because someone else on their news feed said it was National Daughters’ Day. This kind of stuff spreads like wildfire, and it’s ridiculous.

      • Speaking of googling something. Maybe the blogger should google terms like “Rule of Thumb” before she uses them…I mean…it could you know, “offend” someone as the phrase was invoked in a lecture as an example of domestic abuse permitted by British common law. The rule of thumb, according to the professor, was a law that allowed a man to beat his wife so long as the rod used was no thicker than his thumb. Point being. We all need to lighten up. This is her opinion and I really believe that we all know deep down whether or not something is “real” or not. It was a fun, social thing to do on FB. FB is sometimes like the old “water cooler” at work. You share all sorts of things there.

  15. I just thinks it’s funny that you are telling us not to believe everything on the internet yet you are telling us to “Google” things before hand. I do get what you are saying, and I understand people need to be more aware of what is going on in society by not just looking on FB. You definitely could have used a different example.

  16. The reason this country is in an uproar all the time is this very problem. It is easier to react to a comment than to find out the truth. Parents get on the bandwagon because their child said their teacher or coach did something they didn’t like. Well first get the whole story. When my son was in high school he came home all upset about what a team mate said the coach said. The team mate had made it to his advantage and fortunately for the coach I was there and heard exactly what was said to the child. So I readily told my child that was not true and stopped the whole blown up mess. People just want to believe what ever they see on internet and TV and then go with it.

  17. Wow, these comments border on the absurd. They are full of assumptions about the author and the point of the article. Please step down off your high horse and take a minute to search the author. I’m willing to bet you won’t. You’ll hide behind your computer, tablet, or mobile device and make snippy little comments that make you feel so much better. Look her up. Every single day of her life, she is celebrating.

    • Hide behind our computer???? Wasn’t this blog published on a computer??? How else am I supposed to respond???? Hello Pot….my name is kettle. And high horse? As you just eluded, you also know nothing about me so as for me being on a high horse, you may want to look at who actually published this rubbish

  18. I read your post here. I did my own research (as suggested) and easily found that it is Daughters Day in parts of India. National may mean something other than the USA, which I believe you may have failed to consider. I agree with those that say people believe anything that is on the internet and that we need to be better at passing on more reliable information. Thanks.

  19. Oh well. It didn’t harm any one. I still enjoyed seeing everyone celebrate and honor their daughters. It was light, positive, and full of love. Maybe we started a trend, and should formally make it that day to celebrate our gifts from God. So having said that, I announced publically that August 24th is National Daughter’s Day.

  20. Today is National Hot Man Over 40 Day..as seen on my recent Facebook post of my husband. I posted, therefore it’s true!

  21. I am quite shocked reading the comments at the defensive position taken by some people who evidently feel like they have been scolded in some way, shape, or form by this article. I did not feel that at all. I do not believe her intention was to make anyone feel bad for posting a pic and celebrating their daughter. On the contrary, she applauded such actions of wanting to celebrate our children. The whole point was simply don’t simply accept everything you see in any media form without question. We each have a very capable brain which is designed to gather information and think for itself. I believe she was simply encouraging us to use it!

    • You COMPLETELY missed the point, which means you never finished the article. It had very little to do with whether it was or wasn’t NDD…..

    • THe whole point is people get on the band wagon over anything. No this did not hurt anything by celebrating ours daughters which is a positive thing. What if it were a more negative thing, of which I am afraid to give an example because someone would then repeat it and then another and so on, That is how peoples lives get destroyed. People simply follow the leader instead of researching for themselves.

      • True. People don’t READ. Most people read the first of the lines and stop reading. We are thinking about what we will reply before reading the INTENT of the article. The post was not about the folly of loving our daughters, but it was about being sheep. I can’t tell you how many posts I have read that put out as fact hurtful things that were, in fact, lies. I read comments about those lies reflecting “if it is posted, then it must be true” without question. We have become sheep, no offense to sheep.

  22. I don’t know all the dumb things people post on Facebook . This was such a meaningful post, and it would not be fair not to post it. That’s what went through my mind before I posted , hmmm I guess I did think it over in fact I didn’t post till the next day , and am happy I did.

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