Social Media is a whore

There is no doubt that almost everyone with some kind of social media account is aware of some kind of turmoil affecting the human race.  Whether it’s Brexit or terrorism, or Trump (or Hillary), or falling prices of some agricultural goods (and the effect this is having on farmers) or immigration or climate change or gun control or racism or just a disdain with some political pseudo-issue in general –  it’s hard to see much light amongst all this overwhelming darkness.

We find articles, videos, posts, statuses and shares that support our opposition to the above (or other), and we add them to our newsfeed too.  And then to yours.  It then becomes the conversation at the weekend, in the workplace, at the shop counter, online, everywhere.  Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?  (This also explains cat videos, read: fun)

Our information cosmos is currently riddled to bursting, with fear.A cloud can be cast over your whole day, your whole mind, with a simple scroll through your facebook ‘newsfeed’, exacerbated by the pretty much Machiavellian algorithms feeding you all the information you need to stay one-eyed.  And that’s not to mention what’ s being reported on the TV, in the newspapers and elsewhere.

Essentially though, isn’t an anti-trump, anti-racism, anti-Brexit, anti-government post, just another form of fear?  Are we not all perpetuating that very thing we want to oppose?  Do we understand the immediate effects of sharing such ‘information’, when really, it’s just another scar on an already under siege collective psychology, potentially inflicted by a ‘friend’ who is about as expert on a particular topic as Donald Trump is on hairdressing/NATO/tolerance.

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People having opinions about the zeitgeist is becoming epidemic, and id be tempted to go as far as saying that a lot of it occurs because having an ‘opinion’ (in this case, a spoon-fed digital article or meme that fits neatly in with your preferences, as chosen by a sequence of data processed by a computer program) validated by an audience (in this case, a carefully selected group who already agrees with everything you say, potentially ‘liking’ what you say/do, without even considering it, mindless to and disengaged from its actual meaning) makes us feel as though we’re ‘aware’ (I wont go as far as saying ‘intelligent’, because this isn’t necessarily a critique of intelligence, though its still a question worth pondering, especially when a poster clearly doesn’t display a grasp of grammar beyond fourth grade), when really, we’re potentially being robotized, dumbed down.

How much do you really know about the things you post about?  How many sides of the story?

Im certainly not saying that I agree (or disagree) with the threat of any of the abovementioned toils, topics and challenges we are currently facing, and I know that in the majority, the intention of sharing an ‘anti’ message, is to perpetuate ‘good’ (as juxtaposed as anti and good might be), but consider a few things:

  1. A trump supporter (for example), sharing an ‘anti-gun control’ status, or ‘anti-immigration’ status, also thinks they’re perpetuating ‘good’.  And:

When they’re sharing it with their own social media audience (of Trump supporters, in this example), no-one argues – ‘you’re preaching to the choir!’ 

  1. If everyone (or almost everyone) in your social media family generally shares the same interests and beliefs as you – you might have even ‘unfriended’ some people because a heated argument got out of control, and you couldn’t have disagreed with them more – what sort of change are you really affecting?

Are you not just standing around in a group patting each other on the back, solidifying an unchallenged argument, and sharing it with people who don’t need to be convinced?  Like a bunch of a team’s football supporters complaining about a spate of poor decisions by a referee costing them a game – who’s going to disagree?    Again, you’re just preaching to the choir…

  1. Further to this, if you talked to the opposition team’s supporters about the ref, maybe they’d give you some perspective? – You don’t have to agree.  You might even open each other’s minds.
  1. How many of our sources of information are truly unique, or thoroughly researched and counter-researched – aren’t you just reposting information that is largely fed to you by sources with interests outside of your own (sources like the mainstream media!), acquired from a source that just supports what you believe (don’t forget those algorithms either!) – i.e. you might not even be learning anything and hence, not teaching anyone anything either.

Where I currently sit and write this (Newtown, Sydney, Australia) there is a lot of anti-government, anti-politician propaganda posted up on walls, street signs, as graffiti on bathroom doors, most likely by a pseudo-neo-anarchist-wannabe-renegade-vigilante demographic, and I couldn’t agree more with their sentiments.  But the problem with their argument, is the same as the problem with just mindlessly posting and re-sharing online – you’re not offering a solution.

In reality, you’re just strengthening the opposition’s argument against yourself, and pissing people off – even people that agree with you.  Like me.

It would be interesting to know what their answers would be to solve the problems we currently face, other than ‘fuck the ruling class’ (id like to see them self-govern, when most of them cant even say, keep a job, do a week sober, or run to catch a bus).

And furthermore, you’re not really sticking it to the man if you’re wearing Nike Airs, sharing from your iphone and buying your coca cola from Coles, are you.  And your argument that you ‘have no choice’ is about as weak as it gets.  I thought you were a revolutionary?

So what solutions am I offering?

  • Vote. This doesn’t necessarily mean to ‘vote’ as in an election, per se (but sure, do that too).  It means vote with your choices.  Vote with your money.  Refuse to support financially the parties you oppose.

Essentially, that means withdraw any contributions your purchases make to the machine, by only buying goods and services from local and independent suppliers and manufacturers (people with you and your community in mind).

Sacrifice.  Ask the hard questions and make the hard choices – If its too hard, maybe you should be forgoing some things?  If its still too hard, you’re a hypocrite, you’re soft, you may not have what it takes.

  • Educate yourself. Read thoroughly on the topics you are passionate about.  If you believe in the power of immigration and the contributions that immigrants make to your society or community, find out everything there is to find out about it.  And then read everything there is in opposition to your argument.  That way, you’ll know everything there is to know to support your argument, and to shoot the opposition’s argument to pieces.

Know your enemy as you know yourself, become your enemy (read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War).

People switch off when you yell and slander and only criticize – with a calm, concise and engaging conversation, you’ll probably change minds.

My father was a staunch atheist, and so was notorious amongst pioneering Jehovah’s Witnesses who dared to knock on our door.  It wasn’t because he read everything about atheism that he built such a strong argument – its because he read everything about religion.

  • Realise that there’s no point trying to change the whole world – Change your world.  By changing the views and opinions of those around you in your immediate community, you will create and strengthen a real bond and common consciousness.

This is far more powerful and real than a bunch of likes on a post (soon to be forgotten) by random people reflex-liking and reflex-sharing hundreds of posts a day with one hand, while the other adds stories to their snapchat (and now Instagram) about their new (animal-tested) makeup (made by a subsidiary of a multi-billion dollar global conglomerate with links to weapons manufacture) and latest drunken night out. bb65865f645c9a4fae8e885d67e8ed6d

Beyond this, you’ll be far happier if everyone around you is happy too.

Some people just aren’t worth convincing – they will suffer in their own hate, whether you inflict it or make them aware or not.

  • Take control. You need to switch off from everything every now and then.  Do something that allows you to do what you want to do – no TV, no social media, no phone – these mediums and devices don’t ask you if you want to hear or see or feel what they have to offer – its forced on you, degrading your ability to disseminate what is important, and the ability of your brain to feel or know what is real.  What matters.

Essentially, whatever they’re saying (screaming) really isn’t for your benefit (unless you’re a shareholder!) – they’re fooling you if you think otherwise.

I don’t think there’s a single person in the world who doesn’t love the idea of going to a remote island to soak up some sun and sea and drink from a coconut, having no contact with the outside world – there’s a reason for this.  Dont wait until you’re on that island!

There’s no doubt that we currently live in a very tumultuous time for the human race – interesting, to say the least.  Where it takes us, and how we will look back on our efforts, our legacy – only time will tell.  More importantly than ever though – so everyone can make some sense through the noise, and take control of where we’re going –  we all need to stop contributing so much to the din, or be conscious of how we contribute to it, before everyone becomes so pissed off that no-one listens.

Im sure ive pissed some people off now too.

Goodbye.

 

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