This is probably not something that an online blogger should be writing because it is bad for business. It is a good thing I am a freelance writer that is not a business so I can talk candidly with you, even if it isn’t great for me. It is about the way we research and look for answers. I was watching an interview the other night – funnily enough online. Beyond Belief with George Noory is a bit of a secret pleasure of mine. The gentlemen he was interviewing was talking about a topic that wasn’t really my area, but I watched it anyway. Even though he was talking about UFOs and alien phenomena, he said a few words that really resonated with me that I felt I needed to share and elaborate on. He said that the answers we are looking for aren’t on the internet and that we need to get off the computers and physically go out there and look for them.
I actually couldn’t agree with this more! Granted the internet is convenient. It is easy to network with people, it is easy to talk to people on the other side of the world, and you can find out pretty much anything you want just by typing a question into google. Why type when you can ask Siri to do it for you? While this may all seem great, it may not be helping us get the answers we need.
He used an example which can apply to different areas of the paranormal. People don’t go out as much to interview witnesses after experiencing something that they cannot explain. They rely on internet accounts instead of face to face human interaction. Again it is convenient and also it allows us to speak to people all over the world and get perspectives we did not have access to in the past. However, it means we may also be limiting ourselves. Especially if it is all written words. Even though Skype allows a person to at least look at facial expressions, it is not the same as an in-person interview. Maybe interviewing them in person allows them to open up more. They may feel more trusting and safe and it may mean that you can also tell if the person is telling the truth. You can work out if they are embellishing or exaggerating accounts. Since you are out there interviewing them, you can then also investigate the scene the experience took place to start to work out if these claims have any merit to them.
Today people post to forums, upload videos of themselves on Facebook and in a lot of ways, it has become more about getting likes than doing research for a lot of people. This is a generalization of course. I know I myself sometimes get a bit of a shock when I look at my screen time reports from my phone. It gives you an in-depth report of how much time you spend on your smartphone and a breakdown of specifically how you are spending that time. How long you spend on social media was a big eye-opener when it first came out.
Our first reaction now when we are out is to get our phones out and film something, instead of just enjoying the moment. I find it amazing when you go to a concert you have paid hundreds of dollars to attend and people are watching the concert from the phone screen they are recording from instead of being there in the moment and enjoying it. I have been guilty of this in the past, but I have made a conscious effort to be more present. I went to a concert a couple of years back where phones for completely banned. It wasn’t because they didn’t want the performance filmed, it was because they wanted you to be present in the moment and enjoy it. It was a great experience and I wasn’t even thinking of my phone.
The same applies in a similar way when you are out paranormal investigating. Now it has become custom to have a video camera on hand and either live stream or film your investigation. Instead of viewing the investigation from the perspective of the viewfinder on the camera, we need to be present in the moment. Absorb the environment and immerse yourself in your surroundings. Observation is one of the most effective forms of investigation. If you need to have the investigation filmed or live stream, assign the role to a specific person. Let them worry about the filming so the person investigating can concentrate on the task at hand. I have seen some great live streams where it has been obvious the person investigating is completely oblivious to it because they are so focused on what is going on at the time. It also means you are being genuine. It can be really easy to go a little over the top when you know you are on camera.
I have heard from others and even said myself many times that when it comes to equipment, we are spending too much time focusing on our gadgets that light up, and potentially missing something happening right next to us. Equipment can be helpful but is it hindering what we are doing? We can still use it but maybe we need to be smarter. People underestimate the art of observation during an investigation. It is honestly one of my favourite things to do and it really gives you a true perspective as to what is going on. If you haven't done it, I suggest you do. Maybe you can be the person to film the investigation for a change and while you are filming you can observe what is happening. There are people doing the actual investigation and it is your job to just watch. It is one of the oldest and most effective ways to investigate and honestly it is what I tend to do. Sometimes all you need really is a pen and paper and take notes of what you are observing.
There is a reason people refer to old school methodology. It was simple and it didn’t rely on technology. Not only should we try to apply some of this to the way we investigate, but the way we research as well. It encourages you to think and use your brain and I can’t tell you how amazing that feels! I have written before about making sure your source of information is correct, but the only way you are going to find out is to look for yourself. There are no easy answers when it comes to the paranormal. We aren’t even sure there are answers. If we were supposed to know what happens when you die, we would already know. It isn’t about the answer at the end, but more about the journey along the way. Some believe that the reason for this is so that a person can achieve spiritual growth. As you are searching, you are opening your mind, you are growing and learning. You are learning not just about the unknown, but surprisingly you are learning a lot about yourself too. Maybe that is what it is all about?
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