The Media: Thinking so You Don't Have to

I don’t hate media for what it is – but for what it pretends to be, and what for people believe it is.

They’re fighting for attention, and mislead the viewer into believing that they can be the single source for all information. Problem is: we’re a microwave society, fully trained to expect that staged “debates” and sound bytes will give us everything we want to know about everything. We align ourselves with people who think like us, or who we believe think like us.

People don’t want to think for themselves anymore. Worse yet, they take mob mentality to a completely new level when combined with the instapublishing power of the Internet. Emotion clouds judgment – and we are a species ruled on emotion and judgmental behaviors. When you throw faith into the mix, you’ve got a mental Molotov cocktail on your hands. “Hate them because they hate us” is not logical, nor is it going to propel the human race any further than the nearest warmonger hellbent on ensuring the survival of his or her culture over all others.

We teach our kids not to hate, yet all they see on the news is how our leaders are breeding hatred around the world – all in the name of peace, which is nothing more than propaganda designed to excuse our hateful actions. We teach our kids not to do drugs, yet all they can see in between the news reports is how pharmaceuticals have made our lives easier with drugs (including protecting us from “restless leg syndrome”). We teach our kids to treat everyone else with respect, yet… the adults around them continue to act as though those rules apply to everyone else. We are supposed to teach our children tolerance, yet they see intolerance happening even within their own culture every single day. People don’t want to lead by their own example, and they don’t want to hear that what they’re doing is completely self and/or culturally destructive.

Our “free press” is controlled by advertising and/or funding. That, ipso facto, is not a free press. A completely objective eye is what’s necessary, but “nobody” wants that – and nobody has that. One must take it upon his or herself to digest more than what’s presented to them in microchunks from a single source or sources of a single mindset. Personal belief structures and agendas completely impede a person’s ability to digest information in a benign fashion. This problem is compounded with groupthink, which is even further compounded with propaganda meant to justify “I agree, therefore I’m right” behaviors.

There’s only so much time in the day, right? This issue only underscores my assertion that we have all become slaves. We are slaves to ourselves, but we assume that this is just the way it is and always has been. Historically speaking, that’s quite accurate. Tell the average American that they’re a slave, pointing out coherent and applicable examples, and they’re likely to agree with your assessment – believing that salvation always lies in an external locus of control.

“The media will tell me everything I need to know.”

I guess I can’t dislike the media for the way they operate – but I can very much dislike, dispell, and diminish the illusion that media creates for people, and that people accept this illusion “the media” creates as truth. I’m fighting cultural inaccuracies more than I’m rallying against the power of the press. I wish more people would consume outside their own comfort zone, outside their echo chamber, outside their own culture, outside their own doctrine, outside their own country, outside their own “truths.”

People need to decide for themselves to start thinking for themselves.