Let Me Tell You

This is something that I’ve seen for a long time.  Maybe I’ve complained about it before.  But I’ve started to see the problem manifested in different ways and the progression is a little disturbing to me.

Quite a long while ago, news channels discovered there wasn’t really enough news to support a 24-hr cycle.  So they started doing more sensationalistic pieces.  Then they started moving towards opinion pieces.  With “opinion news”, they could discuss the same news story in many different ways, filling up the time needed.  The problem with that is that it’s opinion.  That’s one person telling you what you should believe.  And you know what?  That works very damn well.

Recently, an organization I was affiliated with came under attack by a variety of people led by a single blogger who drew a multi-step path of loose connections into an accusation of racism.  And you know what?  It worked pretty damn well.  Not flawless, because many people were able to think rationally and refute the claims.  But, when led down a path – “and if that’s true, then…” – some people will see whatever it is you want them to see.

Most recently, I saw a funny video on Youtube.  In the related videos, I was surprised to see some new genre, “reaction videos” was now legitimate.  Think about that.  You’re watching a video of people watching a video.  I bring this up because it’s another way of leading you down the path.  “You see how these people are reacting to this?  You didn’t react the same way.  You’re different.” 

And that’s the root of the problem.  All of these sources are trying to tell you how to think, how to behave, and what to believe.  Be yourself, be confident, be good.

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