With the advancements in technology, information comes in so fast from so many directions that it might seem overwhelming at times. This goes for everything: Celebrity drama, sports, politics, and even personal matters. By being bombarded, we don’t have enough time to fully process the last piece of information before the new piece comes in. In the effort to keep our heads above the water, articles aren’t fully read and the headline takes the priority.
There have been multiple times where I have seen headlines altered to create an emotional reaction one way and the body of the article shows a different example. One recently was when NY was supposed to get hit with a massive snowstorm, the governor closed the roads to trucks and buses. The headline though excluded the fact that it was done for snow and safety reasons and the right wing paper framed the democratic governor in a hit piece. Of course the tweet is deleted now, but it just goes to show how biased headlines can be.
Which leads me to the crux of this post, by being able to identify that everything in the news media comes with an agenda, your emotional reaction can be influenced by the one providing the information. That is an amazing amount of power for one person/organization to have. With a large majority of the media working in conjunction with their narratives as well, it is really hard to get that second point perspective to give another opinion on the matter.
Just going back to try to find that tweet about the governor closing the roads and realizing it had been deleted, a lot of posts I had called out in the past as being lies were deleted as well. These were all posts that caused people to react emotionally. I had written in the past about how accuracy has taken a backseat to speed in the media, so why haven’t our emotions followed suit?
Once you can break through to a persons emotions, you can get them to do things that act against their self interests. Car salesmen will try to get a person to create an emotional bond to the car they are trying to sell in order to get the person to feel like it is their car and they have to buy it. They will typically reach higher profit margins if they can successfully bond someone to a vehicle. Emotions can supersede logic and in doing so, the person can be manipulated.
By understanding how your emotions are targeted, you can better protect yourself from these mental intrusions. If you don’t have the time to read the body of the article, don’t react to strictly the headline. Typically more information comes out within the next 6-48 hours to get a better feel for the subject. It is important to remember that almost everything in life comes with an agenda as well. Try to figure out what the agenda from each source is and compare the news to that agenda.
Mix things up as well. If you like sports, instead of just going on ESPN or Fox Sports, for baseball try fangraphs for analytical based articles and smaller fan blogs for the teams to get a better insight into the team. For politics, it is always good to read news from the left and right in order to not let your confirmation bias be exposed and become radicalized.
Don’t be afraid to speak your mind either. We are a collective of perspectives that are trying to be herded into a one point perspective. By calling out things that don’t seem right, it awakens multi-point perspectives of others and allows for a collective higher level of consciousness.
Your mind is free and we are not living in a 1984 type of world where the thought police will arrest you if you think independently. That situation is possible if group think becomes too big. Just look at the push for socialism that is happening among millennials. That is the danger in blindly agreeing with the consensus.
If you can fake the appearance of the collective, people will regard that as being true. Over the course of history, this has been proven to be untrue. The world was once thought to be flat and the universe was supposed to be revolving around the Earth. If it was not for a few brave people who dared to venture into the unknown and put their reputations on the line, it is possible that we would still be thinking in those terms.
Be unique and be yourself because that is the only thing that holds true in your mind. The time of letting other’s think for us is over. By teaching yourself how to react, life becomes better and people become happier. It just isn’t worth being stressed out all the time.