Peer review is so much more important than Facebook likes
Most paranormal groups or investigators have a Facebook page. Whether it is their personal page, a public profile page or a page for a group, the majority of people involved in the paranromal are on Facebook. Along with funny memes, articles from the internet, photos of the team out on location and tag, like and share posts. Do you notice something with a lot of the more well experienced paranormal groups? Do you notice that they rarely post photos or 'evidence' and some don't even post them at all? There is a reason.
The opinion of our peers on our paranormal evidence is so much important than likes
In all honestly, it is not every week that you come across a piece of evidence that you cannot explain. More often than not, there isn't much happening during an investigation. It is hit and miss. Even if things are happening, it is also difficult to capture this through some means of recording equipment. When we do finally get this piece of evidence, our first insitnct is not to put it up on facebook. Instead, you better believe that we are doing everything that we can possibly think of to recreate or debunk it. This can take time. Maybe we can't get back to the location for another week or two and maybe we have to wait for certain conditions to be able to properly recreate it. Once we have exhausted everything that we think of, we still don't pass it off as paranormal and we still don't put it on facebook. We pass it onto our paranormal investigator friends in a process we refer to as 'peer review'.
What is peer review?
It is exactly what you think it is. It is consulting with our peers in the industry for their opinion, thoughts and suggestions. Some of them may have many more years experience than what we do. Some of them may have less experience but think of things in a different way. Maybe some take a more scientific or skeptical approach. Or maybe they take a more spirtual approach and that information can be valuable to you as well. It is coming together and using all of your collective knowledge to come up with some sort of explanation. Not only will you learn a massive amount, you will also gain some respect. You may even find down the line that someone approaches you for your opinion on a piece of evidence. It's how it works!
Some evidence will never make it past the computer of an investigator and that is OK
So what happens after you have captured this evidence that you have submitted to your peers and no one has been able to come up with some sort of concrete explanation? Usually nothing. It usually stays in the 'Awesome' folder on the computer. We then dedicate our time investigating more and searching for more answers. The experiences and evidence we collect keeps us going. We are not searching to find evidence to prove to the world that the afterlife exists because you are never going to convince the whole world. It is the way it is. We are searching for our own answers. We all have our own personal reasons that we do this and different questions that we want answered, but it is the answers to our own questions that we are searching for. We don't need the approval of anyone out there because we are not investigating for them. We are investigating for ourselves.
Are the facebook likes really that important?
Before putting it up on facebook or submitting it to a facebook group, ask yourself, why am I posting this? Am I posting this because I want to get lots of likes? Am I posting this because I think this is the best paranormal piece of evidence and I want to show it off? Or am I posting this because I genunely want the public's opinion? Really think about it. Is it something you need to put out there? Is the opinion of experienced people in the field not enough? If you are someone that doesn't know a lot of people in the industry and you have geniunely caught something that you have been unable to explain, sure post it in one of the discussion groups or submit it to a paranormal group ..... BUT listen to what people are telling you. You will get a lot of different and confusing opinions. A lot of people may tell you, 'wow that is an orb of a spirit trying to communicate with you and I feel a beautiful energy coming from it.' That's cool, that is their opinion. You will then have your experienced investigators come through with the actual explanation telling you 'Ok your flash has bounced off a dust particle in the room and this is why it has happened with your camera etc.' When someone comes with this kind of logical explanation, take it on board. They know what they are talking about and they are not hating on you. They are trying to educate you. You have asked for opinions and they are giving one to you. The only way you will learn is if you will take these things on board. In my early days, I didn't know who to turn to with evidence I caught and I used to put things up to ask for opinions. I never jumped to the paranormal conclusion, I was more interested in learning that logical and rational explanation that could be behind it and that hopefully those with more knowledge could help me with. I still am! I don't think I will ever reach the point where I 'know it all'. I will forever be looking to my peers for their advice and knowledge. It doesn't matter how long they have been in the field, sometimes a set of fresh eyes or a new perspective can get you thinking.
At the end of the day, it is the opinion of our fellow investigators who know what they are talking about that matters. Sure it is nice to get a few likes, but no one will remember you for how many likes you get. They will remember you for the mark you left on the field. Will they remember you as the person that used to post lots of photos and woudln't take on board any feedback? Or will they remember as the thirsty investigator seeking knowledge, willing to learn and willing to accept that what they have caught may not be paranormal. The person that takes this knowledge and applies it going forward and ends up becoming someone that others goto for the same advice. I know where I sit. Which one do you want to be?
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