Is everything really the way you think it is? Or has someone just been spoon-feeding you information that makes you believe that it is? Are you really in control of your own life or is someone else?
It’s hard to see in today’s age that things are just more and more connected then ever before. The six degrees of separation are actually becoming more like four and three degrees, and the more that we are aware of these connections, the more we realize we may actually just be pawns in one big, dirty game. Here are the three main ways that you may be currently getting manipulated so that you can possibly avoid them and start living your life for yourself:
1. Media Of All Kinds
We’re used to being around media constantly. Whether on our televisions, our laptops, or our phones, media is no longer just what we read about in our local newspaper. It has begun to be de riguer to blow stories out of proportion in order to capture our attention, and drive us to pay attention to whatever given media outlet most desperately seeks it. Most of what you’re tuning into has no real substance, and is simply sensational reporting. In fact, in the controversy over the “cooked Reuters Poll”, we were clearly exposed to the level at which some outlets will go to have viewership.
A while back, this was not really the case, and most reporters would actually adhere rather tightly to the five core principles of journalism. Sensationalism and media bias aren’t part of these principles. Media bias, especially, has become a huge concern over the past decade. Whether leaving certain sources out of the limelight, or favoring certain sources over others, news outlets have become notoriously nasty over whether or not they are being honest.
What can be done, though, is turning to your own source of fact checking. If you suspect that the outlet your are currently tuned into, or the newspaper you currently like to pick up and read occasionally, may be demonstrating media bias, you can go to a series of sites. FactCheck.org is a great one for searching all of the current news articles being circulated and Media Bias/Fact Check has a huge database that can be used to search whatever keywords you have.
Remember, though, that you are in control of what you watch and what sort of information you take in. There is nothing wrong with shutting off the t.v., or powering down the social media if you feel like everything you’re looking at is a lie. Living one’s life outside of the constant reel of media could be an exceptional way to go about taking control back over your own thoughts and ideals.
2. Health, the Environment, and What You Eat
There are tons of products out on the shelves with ingredients that could be straight out of a foreign language’s text book. We have no real idea where most of those chemical compounds come from, and it’s very difficult to get a straight forward answer on that. The Internet is helpful in trying to figure that out, but with so many conflicting sources of information, it’s difficult to really find out if what you’re putting in your body is harmful.
With the advent of GMO products and Big Pharma companies, there has been a lot of cross-pollination between self-interest groups and politics. Not to mention the media that reports on their findings. If you actually go to search on any engine words like “GMO and How they Hurt Bees”, you will not find a single major network reporting on it. This isn’t just for GMO’s and Bees, though. It’s for most major breakthroughs in medical science that don’t actually get passed down to the public.
What you will see, however, are articles that spell out that something is “devastating” or “deadly”, and have no real sources to back it up. There will only be illusions to interviews, or to “in one scientist’s opinion.” This is true for anything that could even be somewhat called as news, so it’s important to really cipher through everything you’re reading, and try and go straight to the source.
The New England Journal of Medicine will provide an unbiased (except by the natural bias of scientists) look into health and science. You can also take a look at Science Direct for Food Research and other journals that will clearly outline what it is you need to know. You have the power in your hands to discover the truth. Use it!
3. The Education System
We have been attending the same types of schools, from elementary to college, since the beginning of our nation. As the saying goes, education is the foundation of society, and when you destroy a country, you do so through their system of education. If taught only the facts that someone, somewhere, has decided upon, then those will be the only facts you will know.
The problem that we are facing, is that our style of education, and what we’re being taught, is producing a very precise, driven order. With ranks and files, strict rules and complex tests, we are producing individuals who are good at sitting in a straight line and repeating what their “leader” says, and not much else. The modern standards of teaching require that we leave no one out of the loop, and that every single child must live up to the standards put into place, or else they will be considered in need of special education.
Within the context of how other nations are facing their education, it is obvious that we are lacking. That isn’t to say there isn’t hope within our system, nor the ability for someone to break out of the thin-veiling of what is happening in our classrooms, but it does make it more difficult to be in control of our own lives. Adding fuel to the fire, most textbooks that are currently in mass circulation omit a whole slew of different historical facts in order to give a more favorable view to this nation. This doesn’t help in being able to think for one’s self, or have a clearly researched opinion on facts.
What’s important here is to understand that education isn’t just about what’s going on at the schools. We must ask ourselves if our kids are actually getting real facts about the world, and if we ourselves have all the facts we need in order to make informed decisions about our lives. Research what is going on with education, and then research your own.
4. Government and the Corporations Who Affect Them
As mentioned before, corporations like Big Pharma and GMO companies have been putting their hands in people’s pockets for awhile now. Governments are the one’s who tend to see the most benefit from this because the line between contribution and directly lining a pocket is very thin. In simple terms, this step is called lobbying, and it’s where special interest groups go out and seek those officials who will be willing to accept their money in return for a favor. There are laws to regulate this, of course, but most of those laws are still easily circumvented.
What happens when a government official is given the support of a corporation through lobbying? He/she will then be under a sort of psuedo-control of that company or group. This can cause horrible results, which can lead to turning a blind-eye to oil spills, or allowing for the explosion of once-stable economies. Above all else, it can lead to corrupt decisions and the mismanagement of local, or national, governments.
And that, right there, is the biggest worry to face. When a government is supposed to represent it’s people, and not corporations, but does so anyway, than what we expect and need, isn’t going to happen. We must try and make a stand against this as often as we can, and encourage the putting into place of checks and balances. You do have the power to do this. Your voice matters. Go out there and use it.
This article was inspired by this one here.