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The primary social problem in our society is that we are too emotionally engaged with the productions of journalists and political…
The primary social problem in our society is that we are too emotionally engaged with the productions of journalists and political activists. These two groups, more than any other media producers have captured the attention of many Americans and are compensated by those things that spark ‘debate’.
This is not a consequence of social media. Very few ordinary people as social media producers go viral with divisive material. The general public is satisfied with making fail videos, humorous memes, cat videos and porn. What is crowdsourced is generally useful and lighthearted. Consider Reddit. But those things that anger and frustrate us are the creation of a professional class of people who are competing in the realm of conviction. They want to argue and convince, instigate, provoke, trigger and foment. These American professionals are the best in the world at doing so. And because of their provocations, Americans are passing along their soundbites and clickbait against each other and against people they don’t even know.
The work of journalists and political activists is so pervasive that you unfriended your own friends based on things you didn’t think up yourself.
In the news today is the story of a boy who threw an egg at an Australian senator, who was making remarks about a mass murder in New Zealand. So today, emotionally involved Americans are yelling at each other as if we need, every day, to demonstrate that murder is bad. Who has convinced us that there is a spectrum of positions on murder which are worthy of public debate? Journalists and political activists.
There is absolutely no controversy in the heart of society that murder is bad, but journalists and political activists have made it their job to spin a controversy in such a clever way that we are encouraged to take a position in the court of public opinion.
Who runs that court, and why are you playing their game?
Americans can simply emotionally disengage from this codependent dysfunction by selecting their intake of information carefully, and not being ‘vegans’ about it. There is no value in bragging about your own ability to be [mis]informed. This will disempower the class of professionals for whom controversy pays their salary, and society will revert to its norm.