Monday, September 8, 2014

Please don’t spread nonsense on Twitter

Back on April 17, 2013 UberFacts tweeted a dubious claim that:

“Every 3 out of 4 people have glossophobia, the fear of public speaking.”

This year on June 17th UberFacts retweeted it, and on August 30th they spread it yet again.

Obvious replies to this nonsense would include:

How do you know this?
Where did this really come from?
Did someone do a survey?
When was it done?
Who was surveyed?
Where was it reported?
(Make a TinyURL, and give us a link).

On February 3rd I blogged about Busting a myth - that 75% of people in the world fear public speaking. I noted that the 3 out of 4 people claim really came from a shyness survey of U. S. college students reported back in 1977, and the situation actually was “Where I am focus of attention - large group (as when giving a speech.”

Back on November 9, 2013 I blogged about How Scary is public speaking or performance? A better infographic showing both fears and phobias. I noted that 21.2% of U.S. adults feared public speaking/performance. There were even lower percentages reported in developed (13.0%) and developing countries (9.4%). When we round them off, we can say instead that:

“Just 1 of 8 people in developed countries, and 1 of 10 people in developing countries fears public speaking.”

The gargoyle image at Paisley Abbey came from Wikimedia Commons.

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