Seems we are sleep walking into the abyss. Sometimes, I wonder to myself how lots of folks continue surviving in the madness of media. Media here is referring to mainstream corporate media, social technocratic media, and government controlled media sources. All these forms of information dissemination are outlets for specific type of narratives that favor the “house” as in, the sponsors or its advertising revenues.
For example, my dad is an avid news watcher and he has never thought to question its narratives (to my knowledge) despite that they have only led him to make bad investments and failed projects. Yet he continues to have a blind faith in their propaganda and propping himself up as someone with the “right” information.
First, a lot of Africans fail to understand that most news is already old news and that they never report on future outcomes. I know lots of Africans (young and old) who pride themselves in their believe in propaganda outlets. More so if its coming from CNN or BBC or any of the foreign networks. This has led me consider the hypothesis that many Africans/Black still live under the notion that anything foreign (mostly European or American) is better. Hell, I have come to this conclusion! Many of us would still prefer to school abroad than home, People that live abroad are more respected and revered than the ones at home (only if one is insanely rich), Foreigners are paid way more for same jobs given to indigenes, etc. To be honest I could go on with more…
Back to the media and how it works to shape our perception of reality, here would be the right place to refer readers to Manufacturing consent by Noam Chomsky .
The current media climate (most especially social media), is a tool for constant distraction from relevant issues, while enhancing the worst in people. I must clarify here that not all social media is bad but I would argue that most of it is pointless and the time we give it is unnecessary. It is an algorithm controlled space replete with virtue signaling, victim Olympics, hive mind mentality, celebration of narcissism, and rife with banality.
I remember being disgusted in 2004 by the notion that my real world friends were angry that I was not their friends on Facebook despite the fact we hung out everyday in real life! I remember promising myself that I would not be sucked in that make believe friends and likes, just to keep up appearances. Well, that was the end of my Facebook experience.
So what is the solution, one may ask.
Reduce your dependence on social media and get back to the real world!
Have you caught yourself checking your phone while in the presence of friends or guests? You can dedicate an allotted time everyday to check and respond to messages. The question to grapple with is; Does we control our phones/time or does the phone control our time and focus?
There is a mental health crisis at hand and I will posit and say our social media usage has exacerbated this.
What I am pointing out is not unique in any way, as there are lots of studies on this topic;
This problem is not going anywhere now that we are steeped into the WFH era, where social distancing is a thing.
The rebel in me would call for a mass boycott, or rather more appropriately, a slow rejection of the norm and opposite reaction as the negative effects outweighs the positive.
Those calling for a reduction in social media use are a minority and can sometimes be labelled as unhinged for suggesting such. To me, that is a sign that I am on to something big and to continue despite the madness of the crowd.
See you tomorrow!