Inviting fear into the home
In Finland, there is a religious group that doesn't allow television but, it does allow watching essentially the same things from the internet. While this seems hypocritical, there is a distinction which quite a few years ago, one of my students explained.
The difference is that from television programming is passively fed, while on the internet it is an active choice. This is pre many of the services that are in place now remember but, the thinking still holds. Passive versus active.
Yesterday in a class we were discussing carotid things and it came up that I don't watch the news and haven't for several years. My argument is much the same where people choose to watch on loop news programming that chooses what is relevant for them and surprise surprise, nearly all news services cast the same 5 or 6 stories a day. It off all of the millions of events, they all choose the same.
Imagine if we were all in a supermarket and were tasked to buy 5 items of our choosing. While we might mostly have basics like bread and milk, there would be a very wide variation in other products based on our individual needs and preferences at the time. Yet, turn on the news and they give us the view that they know what is important for us all.
Even at a quite localised level, this isn't true yet we feel compelled to watch and 'stay up to date' otherwise we are ignorant. Stay up to date, like a program or a virus checker. The news is more like updating the virus itself, the programming that makes us vulnerable as what it chooses to loop with very little justification are things that incite fear with no regard for any nuance or explanation nor, relevancy to our lives at all.
While it triggers our emotions and makes us feel like we have an understanding of what is going on, rarely is there any evidence of quality or objectivity, no matter how it is presented. And of course, depending on the service consumed, the story can change markedly without consideration to other perspectives.
News is a consumer product and the news services position themselves as authorities who are qualified to give us our view of the world and we lap it up like hungry kittens. It is packaged in a way that makes us feel knowledgeable with a complete overview of a situation, which doesn't encourage deeper exploration.
The view is almost 100 fear inducing, anger evoking or polarizing and will on average decrease options. Fear makes us more passive and therefore less outgoing due to the perception if risk, anger makes us more violent with less consideration for negotiation, and polarization gives us an enemy that we feel that is either oppressing us and restricting our movements and should be destroyed.
And, we sit down in the safest place in the world, get comfortable and invite this into our homes. Daily. Passively absorbing a chosen view of global events with no consideration to who is doing the choosing or what their agenda may be.
We also do not question whether what we learn helps us in our lives or harms us as all we are programmed to do is to listen to what we are told and behave as expected. While people's attention is drawn to consume and discuss world events and scandals with no connection to their lives, at a local level they are controlled by those who actually have influence.
In my view, rather than consuming what provides nothing, learn skills that can be used to increase life possibilities and bring joy and fulfilment. I don't think many feel fulfilled after eating the news, no matter how much is rammed down the throat.
[ a Steem original ]
(posted from phone)