Have you seen this picture yet?

Toothpaste con

It has been making its way around cyber space for quite some time but like most viral information it tends to re-appear in clumps as it gets passed from one person to another.  It would be interesting to map that………

Anyway, the theory goes that this code tells you something about the composition of the contents:
Green : Natural.
Blue : Natural + Medicine.
Red : Natural + Chemical composition.
Black : Pure Chemical.

Now following on from the viral marketing logic ‘chemical’ means bad, natural means good and medicine can mean whatever you want it to mean I suppose.  Maybe it means that the government is trying to control us by medicating our toothpaste with compliance drops or maybe it means that the toothpaste will medicate our teeth. I don’t know what we are ‘supposed’ to think but I’m sure it has something to do with making us feel like IT IS ALL A CONSPIRACY!!!!!!!!!!!
It is not.
The marks are called eye marks and are used to help the filling machine find the tubes.  There is a fab explanation here.
The fact that we fall for and share this kind of scam so readily is because the words ‘chemical’, ‘medical’ and ‘natural’ in relation to cosmetic products are emotionally loaded.  They have been bought out by people who have the agenda (either overtly or sub-consciously) to gain our trust, to be our ‘go to’ place for honest information when we are feeling vulnerable:
Don’t know if a product is safe or not,  ask me!
Worried that ‘they’ are tricking you by hiding information,  ask me!
Wondering if they are trying to force feed you chemicals?  Don’t worry, you can always TRUST me!
Only you can’t because most people sharing this information don’t have any relationship to the origin of the information.  Have never seen toothpaste tubes being printed or filled, have never been part of the cosmetic R&D process,  haven’t got a clue what the words really mean or how the companies making these products really operate.
It is understandable that we flick this sort of thing on because it looks mildly interesting and starts a conversation. Facebook in particular loves that type of shallow exchange.
But it is not right or healthy.
If I was granted one wish it would be that we all take the time to stop, look, listen and ask before believing.  Test our prejudices,  question what is put before us and what we want people to think or do based on the information we share.
Based on my earlier comments I have to admit that I am cynical about this sort of thing but I don’t find that mindset entirely helpful.  It just makes me feel angry and shouty.
So, instead I try to be more of a happy skeptic – it takes a bit of a deep breath and some ‘step-away-from-the-laptop’  but eventually I get there.
In any case I hope that has been a little bit helpful and if you are interested, don’t worry I had to check the information too.  I, like you  don’t know all of the answers and yes, at times that does make me feel vulnerable but vulnerability is also good.  It means that there is still more to learn.
and I love learning.
Amanda x