No matter how hard you may try to bury your head these days ignoring the news and the state of the world, catchy headlines are almost impossible to avoid all together. The problem with this is that headlines alone can be massively misleading, often written to grab your attention and not necessarily reflective of the story contained.
It takes only a glance, a second or 2 as your eyes zoom across a page, a website, social media, a billboard and you have inadvertently taken in a message. Sometimes this isn’t even done on a conscious level.
How does this affect us?
It has lead to a country of uninformed non-readers with an attention deficit who genuinely believe they know what is going on around them. You know the type. They spout regurgitated opinions that aren’t their own and have been formed out of thin air at you like they are the gospel truth and they will often defend their perspective to the death.
When questioned, often the answers as to why they feel this way elude them. They themselves don’t even know so there is no way they can possibly hope to explain it to you.
There is a reason that television line-ups are called programs and programming. The media is not a free market. Though every story of course is written by a reporter or author and tends to absorb their unique perspective, media, especially mainstream media is owned, bought and paid for. It is monitored and censored. We are all spoon fed a version of the news – some real, some completely created to further political and personal agendas and the majority to entertain and keep us busy much like parents plunking down their child in front of a TV for long periods of time rather than actually parenting.
What can we do?
A few things:
- If you see a headline that catches your eye – take the time to actually READ the whole story. Then decide based on your own discernment how you feel about it and intellectually what you think.
- Turn off the news and all reality TV – The two are interchangeable anyway.
- Talk to people – converse and have actual debates – it gets your brain going and hones your skills not only in critical thinking but also in the area of speech. The old saying “Eloquence of speech is proof of eloquence of mind” holds true.
- Never accept anyone else’s opinion over what your own inner instinct tells you. If you have doubt – research and find out for yourself.
An uneducated society who can’t think for themselves is far easier to control.
And make no mistake control is the issue here.