In today’s social media, any information whether it is true, rumor, gossip or even fake is spreading faster than light. I believe most of us even forward the messages we receive via social media to our dear ones even before we read it completely or not even checking the facts once.

The spread of such information disrupts our society in a more harm than useful way. Before forwarding any such information we need to go through the Triple Filter Test.

The triple filter test anecdote references to the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates.

Socrates was a great scholar, teacher and philosopher who was credited with laying the fundamentals of modern western philosophy.

One day an acquaintance ran up to him and asked, “Socrates, do you know the know the story I just heard about a friend of ours?”

“Hold on for a moment,” Socrates replied. Before I listen to your story, the message had to go through a ‘Triple-Filter’ test. If the message didn’t pass the test, then it is not worth listening.

“Triple-Filter” test, the man replied.

“Yes, Let me ask you the first filter test”, Socrates said.

1) “Are you absolutely sure that what you’re going to tell me is true?”

The man thought for a moment and said, “No, I just heard about it from one of our friends.”

So, you are not sure if everything you are going to tell me is true, said Socrates. Let’s see if you can pass the second filter.

2) “Is what you are going to tell me something is good or kind?”

The man again thought for a moment and said, “No, it’s neither good nor kind.”

Socrates said, So, you are sure that it is neither good nor kind. He then asked the last filter test.

3) Is the information you are going to tell me useful or necessary?

” No, not really.” replied the man.

Socrates concluded that if you are going to share the information that is neither true nor good nor useful, why are you sharing with anyone at all?

The man blushed with embarrassment and left from there.

Key Takeaways:

Socrates triple filter test is not only valid for any information from social media but also useful in our relationships. Always question yourself before you speak on anything:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it good?
  • Is it useful?

Lets conclude with one of his wisdom quotes.

“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” -Socrates

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.

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