Reality Bytes Series: Media

How Our Screens Are Keeping Us Connected and Tearing Us Apart

What is even real anymore?! With social media turning everyone into reporters and opinions into propaganda it’s no wonder everyone is wrapped up in chaos. Each news media outlet streams 24/7 whether there is something new to report or not which leads to misinformation and anchors reporting with their opinions, sensationalizing the subjects to keep viewers hooked and ratings up. Our desperate need to be the first to know and have instant gratification leads us to quick internet searches, skimming articles that give us confirmation bias, little to no fact-checking, and then turning on our neighbors and families. 

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We, humans, LOVE to be right, we anchor ourselves in what we connect to as truth, and because we HATE to be wrong, we are typically unwilling to consider other truths as possibilities. We also struggle to hold multiple truths at one time because our egos tell us that for what we believe to be true, everything else must be false because WE can’t be wrong. This can be seen all over media reporting and social media posts. Everyone is looking to take a side and make the other side the enemy, shaming everyone who disagrees by saying things like “wake up you fools, you are being duped…” but the real dupe is the division, hate, and anger that continues to spread like wildfire through our media outlets and into our hearts. 

Shaming doesn’t work to change minds, shaming doesn’t soften or open up someone’s heart. Finger-pointing and blame only serve to incite more defensiveness and arguing. Many of us are unconsciously living out of our egos and one of the functions of the ego is to perceive & interpret the external world so that you are able to get what you need and protect what you already have, this easily leads to fear. The ego becomes fueled by fear, as does the media, and when we don’t know who we can trust we become easily manipulated by our fear consuming egos. The ego then rejects all realities that are inconsistent with the ones we’ve told ourselves we are experiencing, which then leads to lashing out from a place of fear and woundedness. 

I continuously hear people say that they want the chaos, hatemongering, fake news, and division to stop, yet they argue with their family, friends, and coworkers, or they jump on Facebook or Instagram to express their anger & frustration looking for others to join in with their conflict energy and “confirm” their rightness. Or even worse, spread click-bait headlines that fuel anger, suspicion, conspiracies, and more fear. 

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Conspiracy theories are as American as apple pie. Corrupt government officials, misleading information, profit-driven media, cult-like thinking, none of this is new. So many of us are waking up and grabbing our phones to tune into news media and social media before we tune into ourselves, before we wipe the sleep from our eyes, before we give gratitude for life and the beauty of creation. We prioritize chaos over peace and we outsource our thinking to media companies who profit from our fear or to conspiracy theorists who want to be the ones who’ve figured it all out.

People are so wrapped up in the “end of times” that the present moment and the beauty that still surrounds us has lost its value. 

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Reclaim your energy, it is truly your most powerful resource. It is possible to unplug from the news and set tech boundaries. If there is something you need to know, you will know, people will start reaching out to you when things happen. When the Capital was stormed, I had multiple people reach out to me, I logged on to get an idea of what was going on, and maybe once a day I check to see what, if anything, has changed or progressed, not knowing things in real-time doesn’t make me less informed, it makes me more at peace.

Spend more time fact-checking than spreading headlines that trigger emotional responses. Also, understand that not all fact-checking sites are unbiased.  Snopes, Politifact, and Truth or Fiction are a few of the least biased fact-checking sites.

What I hope you take away from this is that it will not be our government or media-for-profit that changes the energy of this nation, it is each one of us. It is up to us, as individuals, to change how we experience life and how we experience one another. Be mindful of how you interact on social media because your behaviors and your words are energetically impacting each person that reads what you post. Be mindful of the news you consume and the news that you share.