Home > 2017, Beliefs, Engagement, Internet / New-Media, Mass Media, Opinion, Uncategorized > “Divisions within us”, Part 7 in the series “On the Edge”

“Divisions within us”, Part 7 in the series “On the Edge”

This is part 7 of my series which started HERE with the Introduction and Index for the series, “On the Edge”, a perspective on our times.

Divisive Culture, Part 7 in the series “On the Edge” | Engagement – a point of view

In the days before Social Media, the majority of the news came from Mass Media, such a Television, Newspapers and Magazines … but through mass media, we are exposed only to the perspective of these media companies, especially when it comes to their opinion on the events concerned. The is a passive relationship, between the media company and the reader, as there is no conversation normally possible.

 

 

Social Media on the other hand offers us the ability to engage and project our own beliefs providing many different perspectives on the same event … some credible, some manipulative, some fake, others plain delusional – although it can be said that the divisions in society were already there …. The media, fake news and social media, opens the “sore” so to speak, creates more as well as exacerbating divisions – Social Media, particularly Facebook, seems to operate by exploiting human failings, one of the outcomes is that it dramatically polarises society for or against an issue – there are too few seeking to find something that approaches the true situation, for we must seek to find credibility in these resources and not just accept them without examination, just because they agree with our beliefs, our own confirmation bias. However social media also has a negative side … that is being exploited.

We have those perspectives from alternative media that feed into and manipulate the fears of their readership … proposing such theories that project Condemnation, conspiracy theories and blame (Like Governments who almost always blame a minority in the population) and straight out projection of personal beliefs, as always assumptions based on beliefs are dangerous ground for organisations which are meant, well hypothetically meant to factually report the news.

This is important I feel .. if you have any questions of concerns about the veracity of information you are receiving via the internet and particularily Social Media …. ask yourself the following questions ..

1. Who is writing the stories? – is the source credible .. though that is not always a guarantee of veracity to know if it is true or misinformation, designed to misinform and create divisiveness.

2. Who benefits from these stories? – does a political party or aspect of society benefit from say misinformation contined in the story .. please evaluate the story impartially, not through the primary filter of your political beliefs.

3. Who is missing from these stories? The other side, a different perspective on the situation.

4. Verify anything that can be verified in the story, don’t share it or believe it merely because it agrees with your general beliefs or agreeing with your confirmation bias.

The whole concept of conspiracies (real or not) also feeds into our fears and powerlessness, our victim mentality – this can generate frustration and eventually anger and on occassion action to right a perceived wrong, if we don’t let it go or educate ourselves. Those that practise deviseness and manipulation of the population have been wildly successful, since conspiracy theories, race resentment, Islamophobia, misogyny and other base bigotry, sorry emotions have a significant visceral appeal to ingrained beliefs amongst, those suseptible.

All of the above have the added advantage of diverting focus from the real and present problems in a society or culture.

Why people don’t look at peoples actions as what the true expression of who they are as people that they respect is quite beyond me .. those that vote for a certain party, because their Daddy did or they always have show a true lack of intelligent curiosity, however that comment is in itself a stereotype and hopefully will prove me wrong when people let go of these beliefs and move outside their safe beliefs and bubbles and reclaim their political power.

Social media is essentially about engagement, the creation of a relationship, the act of choosing who we wish to engage with and “disengaging” with those we don’t creates a bubble of people with like-minded beliefs … we don’ have to engage with those we don’t wish to. Hence we are not open to the opinions of others, their perspectives which may be creative and what’s more factual and therefore true – but we have little tolerance and it seems no empathy for others and their point of view or where they find themselves in the world, this choice further esacerbates divisions.

One cannot help to form the opinion that Paywalls installed by News organisations is an issue that is harming the ready availability of information and news. It may be a major reason for fake news.

Social Media

What will be the shape of society and culture in the future, this may be determined primarily by the economy at this time, but also how society relates to itself … and how we relate and engage with others.

We can look at countries that are a major influence on culture such as the USA which is or should I say was a trendsetter, a leader, now sadly it appears to be one of the most severely divided country of any …. It is hugely polarised, a country where people when they first meet after introducing themselves describe themselves, by including their Political affiliation … I found this many times in my recent trip to the USA …. This for someone from outside of America is odd and incredibly unusual. Depending on their political beliefs are people saying “beware”, it is almost setting the conversation that may come for possible conflict and blame.

Too few organisations actually just report the news … instead we have an opinion provided by the organisation, which is often the perspective from someone, they project their views (or the ownerships views) onto us … too often that perspective is partisan, corrupt, wrong or manipulative.

Years ago, when I understood the concept of Social Media … I felt it would be a wonderful way to engage with the world, to build communities, to understand the world and to engage with Politicians to help keep them accountable. However the dark side has become ever present … along with the issue that there is no one in charge, it has become a harbinger or darkness through the worst of flawed behaviours that humans can generate.

Implications

We live in a culture that project their beliefs (in many cases uniformed, biased or bigoted ) onto others … in this way people set themsleves up as a “better” person, a more moral, more aware … but we do not build a society only on morals we primarily build it on ethics … for people who criticise or attack others this doesn’t change the target of their attacks, it does change who we believe these people are who project their beliefs … they may be so empty or angry that they need to put others down to make them feel better – our western society seems largely built on ego driven desires, selfishness, ignorance and fear… this alone will mean that Twitter, Facebook and the like will thrive …. With Trolls, those broadly speaking people who wish to punish, blame and ridicule others .. all this means their anonymous behaviour in the most part ideal for Social Media as they are generally not held accountable, although that it changing.

From Neil Perkin, a current topic as below … a perspective

We live in a culture that loves to blame the victim. Women who report sexual abuse, sexual assault, and/or sexual harassment are perfect targets for those who would blame the victim. Even beyond all of the comments we could make about society working to protect the status quo of a male dominated culture there are psychological payoffs to blaming the victim. Blaming the victim helps us avoid that reality where horrible things can happen to any of us at almost any time. If we can blame the victim we can believe we have the power to avoid being a victim because we are smarter, wiser, more moral, and more careful.

Victim blaming seems to take one of two main forms with infinite variations. The first form is denial. “She is lying.” “It did not happen.” “It did not happen like that.” This provides instant comfort because the bad thing simply did not happen. The second form can be far more subtle and involves the victim being responsible for their own victimization. This blaming involves all of the wonderful suggestions such as “why was she there,” “why didn’t she just leave,” “why didn’t she just say no.” Often these also go with the high moral judgment of “I would have never.” Blaming the victim can be very seductive. However, doing so simply perpetuates and even fuels the problem.

The flaw here in that hindsight and anonymity that the internet provides is a woeful perspective, it is not in any shape reality, the unconscious, flawed behaviour of those that ridicule, blame and condemn, rarely have had the experience in question, they comment to enhance themselves – but they have no idea of the situation that confronted this person … the reality is that Condemning others does not liberate, it oppresses.

Personas

What we see generally of a “person” on social media is a persona that is created for the medium … we rarely see the person, hence although we use the internet through one of its strengths, in building relationships, sharing our thoughts and information … but it this happening? …. I would refer to this extract that discusses communities from Gizmodo.

Community

“…the price we pay for having more personal freedom is that we lose social cohesion on the larger scale. We become less committed to our neighbours and each other. If we are to survive in the global village, we must somehow find a way to recreate that sense of community.”

I can see this point, but I do wonder about the true impact of technology in all this.

The formation of collaborative groups has become easier than ever as it is the strength of the internet, for technology is so effective at bringing people together. Yet we don’t value it, for we have become disconnected from others and to some extent from ourselves… we idealise people who we have never met, hold them to impossible standards and yet fail to nurture and value our closest relationships in the house, in the street, in the community, the country we live in.

We judge … we project … we dismiss … we blame others all to make ourselves feel better about ourselves and the possibility of being better at the eperience of others, of that we judge. Through ignorance we do this without understanding what we are talking about …. Fear, selfishness and ignorance are in my view the main reasons in my view the world is in the state it is.

So is technology contributing more toward social fragmentation or cohesion? Do our own limitations, and the increasing mobility that the technolgy provides means that it is diminishes our sense of community, communication, engagement and belonging.

If we could only look behind the shut gates, the security measures and the closed doors into the hearts of mankind? – a perspective is that our lives sadly are not our own … politicians run a game of fame of attention that projects their emptiness and self-serving agenda onto the minds and lives of humankind. As millennia go by, any number of games of ideals are touted as the answer to mankind …. none have been because they all use the defunct command and control mentality … it’s a basic game of follow the leader, sadly there are too few that qualify.

In my opinion, the future will eventually consider a collaborative, co-operative one a form of community consultation … leadership from within the group.

Belief and Religion Inspired Intolerance

Religions and Churches, have all exploited the credulity of believers not for some higher good, but to enhance their self, their power base, influence and income.

Within these Churches, there are true holy men and women, however the trouble with any organisation, and particularily those that sets themselves up to show the way to “God” (however you perceive it) is that it is controlled by mere humans who are not perfect and along with their ego and desires they have taken opportunities through the ages to abuse people and inflict untold murder, abuse and sufferings.

Bigotry and Intolerance are learned behaviours, coming ironically from a lack of education … this lack of education and hence the resulting lack of understanding, empathy or compassion is in my view the main reason for conflict in the world.

Voltaire, had a poor opinion of the Catholic Church in France, as it was the very dominant religion at the time, said the below when he was speaking of this in England ….

“If there were only one religion, then then Governments would very possibly become arbitrary, two religions and the people would cut each other’s throats, but as there are a multitude, people are happy and live in peace.”

Voltaire statement applies in my view equally to an ideology as to a religion, for they are in many regards a similar thing, an investment in the ideology itself, sadly it is my opinion that too many people become ideologuess of religion rather than have faith it in and pray.

All religions and ideologies as well, have their dogma – limiting yourself only to your bubble of beliefs in religions of ideologues, leads to the worst in human behaviours

Before you take what is shown on a web page in social media or elsewhere …. make sure it agrees with you innermost thoughts and values, do be curious and open to the new .. but ensure it is true … find other sources that confirm it … check its veracity.

Think, most of all think …. do not follow dogma … because dogma lessens us, betrays our full potential … don’t follow it just because it is easy … you are unique … make you own way. Steve Jobs had a beauiful empowering thought concerning this …

 

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s
life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of
other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown
out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow
your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want
to become. Everything else is secondary.”

– Steve Jobs

 

When we each create peace within us, only then can we project that peace out onto the world spreading peace and love for all us. … but is it to late for this generation for has separation, division, judgement and projection become dogma. Dogma is just someone elses thoughts, imposed on you, ( there is no guarantee it is right for today, or in fact ever was .. it was just accepted ) create your own path, your own direction, your own bliss.

My posts are simply my perspective and are offered in the spirit of discovery, exploration and evolution – take what resonates with you and leave the rest.

  1. December 7, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Thank You David !

    There’s almost too much truth to bear in this piece.
    Much thought but a heaviness of heart.
    Most likely as I process this feeling it will be as you wish. Take what feels right in my heart and let the rest go. It’s much to process when there is precious little to discard.

    Thank You for the new perspective and direction that has guided me through many changes these months.

    I have such difficulty losing what I’ve put down. If there are two notes toss one out please.

    Using my old WordPress account.
    I know this is me because I used ‘Soulsad’ during the trial. My Soul has since healed.

    Like

    • December 7, 2017 at 6:54 am

      I know it is difficult and very confronting …. I thank you for having the courage to go as far as you have! The soul is incredibly resilient – sometimes in spite of the spirit, the soul will heal from the darkest (given time) to the light and unconditional love. Cheers David

      Like

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