Ever wondered if your mind is being controlled?
Indeed, it is.
There are well-trained, highly-paid professionals, employed by huge corporations to effectively shape and mold your beliefs, thoughts and emotions. Take for example, the news media: Every headline of every article is designed to get your attention by playing on your fears or desires. I suggest you start paying close attention. If you're online, ask yourself, before clicking on a link to an article - "why am I clicking this?" It's probably because the image used or the wording of the headline was designed, specifically to get your attention by targeting your emotions. How many times have you read;
"Remarks Sparks Outrage!", "Comment Receives Backlash!", "Shocking Revelation!", "Appalling Accusation!"
At this point, you've already made up your mind about what you're about to read. You've already formed an opinion (or an opinion was formed for you). You're now shocked and appalled and you've yet to began reading the article. Next time ask yourself how they could have worded the headline differently so as not to lead the reader toward any pre-judgement.
To be fair; I know it's all about click-bait. These writers are required to make the headline as attractive as possible. These news sites are paid big advertising dollars. They need as many eyes on their content as possible. Always remember; it all comes down to dollars.
Ever notice the wording that is used in order to make the news source appear objective? They use phrases like:
"experts agree" - "studies show" - "data indicates"
These are just a few examples of how they try to say things without actually saying them. It's not us, the news media saying this. It's the study that shows, the data that indicates - the experts that say these things. And without ever really investigating the data, they've now fed you the narrative and left you with the responsibility of researching the info to find out whether or not what these "experts" say is really true. Unfortunately, most of us aren't capable of seeing through the emotional impact of what we just read. Now we aren't objectively looking to prove or disprove anything. We're foolishly looking to confirm what we now believe.
Not me. Never again. These days, before I form an opinion about something I've read, I ask myself, "Who stands to benefit from this?"
Let me give you an example:
Shortly after September 11, 2001, we began to see that terror alert level chart on every news program. Whenever the color changed, we were alerted by the news media. One day it's yellow for "elevated" and the next day it's orange for "high" risk of terror attacks. So what we were being told is that there is a risk of a terror attack and at times there were heightened risks of a terror attack. What I gather from this is: The government, with all of it's intel, knows enough about potential threats that it can tell us how afraid and alert we should be, but doesn't have a clue when, where, or how these attacks are going to occur. If they know enough to tell us what color to display, but can't tell us, where, when or how the attack may be carried out, what's the point? Why not say, "everyone everywhere should be on high alert at all times?" Here's why: Because that would eliminate the need to constantly stay up-to-date with your friendly news source. You'll have to sit and watch for hours and days until you see the alert level has changed so you can go back to life as you know it. In my opinion, if you can't tell me where, when or how this terror attack will take place, all you're doing is playing on my fears. But who benefited from this?
1. The government - gained national support for it's plan to invade Iraq under the guise of fighting terrorism when, in fact, the real reason for war in Iraq was financially motivated.
2. The news media - viewers were glued to their TVs, watching to see if the alert level would change or if any specific details about the potential terror attacks would emerge, thus resulting in big, fat advertising dollars for those news outlets.
I've read news articles that referred to recent events as "shocking" or "controversial" when in fact, those events were far too recent to have aroused any real controversy. But that's how they become controversial - by being referred to as "controversial". I've even read articles that bore the headline "_______ video goes viral" but at the time the article was written, said video had not yet gone "viral" But I'm sure, as a result of the article, the video in question did eventually go viral. See how it works?
Images are especially important. I've often seen images attached to headlines that have absolutely nothing to do with the article itself, but it got you to click, didn't it? Start asking yourself what the image is designed to accomplish. Notice how articles designed to discredit Trump will use one of the most unflattering pictures ever. They'll use a picture of Trump mid-sneeze, or a picture of his comb-over blowing in the wind. They're really pouring it on thick, aren't they? Look at how the media uses a black suspect's 8-year-old mugshot in the article as if we aren't living in the age of social media and they couldn't have just snagged a selfie off of his facebook page.
I remember the time the O.J. Simpson verdict was read on live TV on a major news program in 1995. I don't recall the station, but as I watched the verdict being read, I noticed something peculiar. At the very moment the verdict was announced, the news feed cut to a split-screen with a room filled with young white college-aged students on the left and young black, high school-aged students on the right. As the not guilty verdict was read, the white kids on the left side of the screen reacted in shock and disbelief, while the black students immediately began cheering with glee. I spent maybe 2 seconds thinking about how black and white people had such different reactions to the same event, but what really puzzled me was something else. With my limited knowledge as an 18-year-old in pre-internet 1995, I was astonished by the fact that someone must have consciously engineered this split-screen fiasco. In order for these visuals to have been broadcast live, there must've been 2 separate camera crews in two different locations simultaneously. I had watched enough TV at that time to have been vaguely familiar with the "how", but what puzzled me was the "why." Why did they think it was important to show two different reactions from 2 different racial groups? In that moment, I learned a lot about the racial divide in our country, but I also learned a lot about the news media and how it contributes to the racial divide in our country. Although perhaps inadvertently, it contributes to the problem nonetheless.
We've been conditioned, as a society, to get our most vital information from these trusted news sources. Therefore, we blindly trust those news sources to provide us with factual, non-biased information. Many a time, I've heard a friend say, "you know, so & so did such & such." When I inquire as to where they obtained such information, they say to me, " It was on the news." I think it's time we rethink this attitude.
It is certainly not my aim to tell you what to think. All I ask is that you think for yourself.
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