Sam tries to eat a fortune cookie any time someone said something factually incorrect

Sam tries to eat a fortune cookie any time someone said something factually incorrect

Infographic by Defne Alpdogan(’20)

For my twenty day lifestyle change, I ate a fortune cookie any time someone unknowingly said something factually incorrect.

I bought a few boxes of Ty Ling brand fortune cookies at Shoprite. I stuffed the boxes in the pocket of my bag and went to school. Every time I heard someone mention a fact, I googled what they said and checked if it was true. If it was true, I did nothing. If it was not true- AKA fake news- I ate one of the fortune cookies.

Sometimes, I was dramatic about crushing the cookie and reading the fortune. The idea was to balance the incorrect with some wisdom.

I thought of this challenge as a way to encourage myself to fact check things that I hear. Overall, I heard a lot less false facts than I thought I would, which is good because I very much dislike the taste of fortune cookies.

Throughout the twenty days, I became very self-conscious about fact checking people. Nobody ever said anything, but I knew I looked like a real jerk doing it. Nobody wants some guy googling everything they say and making sure it’s correct. It is much better to give a person the benefit of the doubt during a conversation, as people understandably don’t like being scrutinized.

Ultimately, fact-checking is for politicians and essays (just kidding about the essays), not for friends. I think one of my cookies put it best: “Your great attention to detail is both a blessing and a curse.”

So, in order to balance out my jerkiness, I gave away a lot of fortune cookies over twenty days. It was much more satisfying to make other people happy than point out the inaccuracies in their statements. I like sharing wisdom, even if that wisdom isn’t mine and the receiver needs to crack open a baked good to get it.

I still have a box of Ty Ling fortune cookies left, and over the next twenty days I plan on giving them out at school because I know it will make people’s days just a tiny bit better. And that’s a fact.

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