Anyone who spends time in the world of teenagers and student ministry knows that their “language” changes over time. Words and phrases come in and out of vogue. New phrases get coined and then quickly fall out of favor. (Can I get an amen from anyone who said a word only to find out it “was so last year?”) For example, will we still be calling things “dumpsterfires” in 2020?
Another term that has popped onto the radar recently is “post-truth.” You may have seen the news that Oxford Dictionaries announced “post-truth” as 2016’s Word of the Year. You may also be thinking – what the heck does this word even mean? And while your own kids or students may not be using it, you might want to. “Post” doesn’t mean like the fence, or the old basketball position – it means “after,” like “after the truth mattered or was relevant.”
As Oxford defined it, “post-truth” means “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” In other words, whether we think or feel or want something to be “true” now matters more than whether it is true … in objective reality. You can easily relate it to the fake news phenomenon, or wishful thinking, or the echo chambers we gravitate toward online.