View Full Version : How The Media Confuses Our Lives

Friday, April 18th, 2008, 08:18 AM
How The Media Confuses Our Lives
Submitted by Alex Birch on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 18:42.

Knock, knock - it's the massmedia!Do you want to know why people today live confusing lives? Because the media constantly sends double signals about everything. I came to think about this today when sitting on the train, reading the Metro. On one page they had an article that described how 25 % of the Swedish children today are overweight, and how this was going to make life insurances for children more expensive in the future (modern society: always about money). Turning to the next page, I see a smiling man posing as a "Hamburger University Principle," talking about how great it is to educate workers within the McDonald's company. "I eat my lunch at McDonald's every day," he said proudly. What a moron.

Why does a magazine choose to first warn us about the increasing problems with child obesity - and then praise some corporate nitwit running one of the biggest fast food restaurants in the world? Easy: media is essentially advertising space for lobby groups and corporations. You'd think that most people reflect over things like this, but they don't. When you think about it, the media is full of these double messages that make us more confused than informed about what's going on in the world. I remember when they aired long documentaries on the news about how potato chips could cause you cancer. People went nuts and threw all their potato chip bags in the trash. The next week they explained the findings; it turned out you'd have to eat several kilos (!) of these products to be even tiny close to an increased risk of cancer. No wonder people don't react to critical information anymore.

Apart from the dishonesty, there is a problem with confusing people like this: by hyping all that's negative and turn it into apocalyptic bible tales, while down-playing and even ignoring the actual problems that we need to deal with here and now (overpopulation, ethnic conflicts, political corruption, hollow values), people eventually turn off their brains and see all information as pure entertainment. No reason to take anything seriously anymore, since it's just advertising. "Who cares about obese children -- tomorrow they'll say hamburgers make us thinner." All the useless information we process every day overcrowds whatever small percentage of quality information that is actually useful to us. Our mind turns into a city dump and we become too lazy to clean the place up to pave way for anything that is not garbage.

To people who read this: You need to become more conscious of the information you receive. Don't just consume like everyone else; reflect over what you're reading, hearing and seeing. Not everything in the media is true but that's not a reason to ignore all information. If you're going to read the major papers, watch TV (in general: don't), listen to the radio or overhear the discussion between your co-workers during the coffee break, do so with a critical overlook of things and place claims, assumptions and facts in their proper context. Don't be fooled by the way the way an article is spun or made for you to react in a certain way. You can avoid being brainwashed by reducing the emotional and moral drama. What you've got left is probably mostly garbage anyway, which is why staying "up-to-date" should be one of the few reasons to stay in contact with the public media at all.


Friday, April 18th, 2008, 09:19 AM
I reached similar conclusions myself long ago. The media is like 'the boy who cried wolf', and we're the towns-people who long ago learnt to stop paying attention to every scare. We've become desensitized to vital information because it has been hidden amongst so many lies.