Once, freedom of speech and respect among people with different opinions existed in the Western world: Then, something changed and went terribly wrong. Where did that liberty go? Social media made it simple to express one’s thoughts and easier to widely share opinions, but years down the track, they turned into an ugly trap.
When I was a teenager and the Internet was not an option, people used to talk, meet, exchange ideas, and, yes, sometimes clash with each other — all in person. Back then, only a minority had access to public media.
When the Internet and social media became popular, all of a sudden, everyone began to have their little share of “celebrity.” In just 10 years, we all got into the habit of posting everything we like, think, and do: We all became public figures. It was the beginning of our society’s decline and the triumph of trash.
The passage from expressing one’s ideas to feeling entitled to slander others was incredibly short, and social media quickly turned into a furnace of hatred and intolerance. Underneath the surface though, they also became one of the most effective weapons in the hands of a few big potentates, who not only have access to all our private data, but are also able to lead and use the mobs to their benefit.
It soon became clear how easy it was to spread lies, fake news, and biased information in order to create fear, conflicts, and pursue targeted interests. Social media can denigrate or build someone’s image in days, as well as destroy ethical principles and moral values and replace them with brand new fabricated ones. In a blink of an eye, things that were clearly recognized and accepted as wrong became right and forced onto our society as “culture.” Media can favor certain ideologies and completely discredit others by emphasizing, deviating, deforming, minimizing, and even hiding particular facts or concepts, depending on whose hands they are in.
All of a sudden, that freedom of speech we had and were proud of turned into a prison, where many prefer staying silent to avoid being overwhelmed and crushed by nasty comments, threats, and hatred. The paradox is that, on the one hand, each word must be carefully thought and weighted because, in the name of political correctness, everything can be perceived and labeled as “offensive,” but on the other hand, people are allowed to insult, threaten, and judge others.
Conflicts are often intentionally caused and used to divide people, destroy existing social structures, and create instability to the advantage of a few potentates acting behind the scenes. Since many media serve the big powers’ interests, it is harder and harder to detect unbiased information. It is a new world war fought through technology and misinformation.
One of the aims of this whole scenario is to re-educate people by un-educating them. The creation of false needs; the replacement of traditional good values and principles with fake new evil ones based on greed, image, power, and vice; the destruction of all that is sacred, through the idolization and worshipping of science beyond all ethical principles; these are the weapons we are all being bombarded with, without even realizing it. Everything and everyone has become disposable, and we are taught that, in order to fulfill our needs and wishes, we are authorized and justified to use all means, just because we can.
Everyone can write a book, become a hero or a role model in one day — all that it takes is good marketing skills, or some contacts who have them. Having something meaningful to say is no longer important; what matters is the image one is able to convey. Image is often pre-designed, developed, and publicized as real, just like any other disposable item. Everything is for sale. It is all about appearance and advertising. Our society praises and elevates trash as if it was gold and we all fall for it because whatever is publicly promoted must be true and worth following — theories, people, values, objects, vices — all in the same large messy pot.
So here we are, living in a grotesque world of Kardashian puppets, where the average person passionately and obsessively watch all types of reality shows, believing more and more that that is how life should be, envying and dreaming the cover of an empty book.
We became a society blindly depending on our technological devices, addicted to publicly posting everything we do, eat, see and think — even though we are becoming less and less able to really “think.” With this, comes the entitlement to denigrate each other in a world that no longer has physical and moral boundaries.
In a few years, our freedom developed into slavery and ugliness, because a computer screen has no eyes to look into and we forget that, behind it, we are all human beings.
If we only took one step back and looked at the crazy nonsense we are absorbed in, it would all appear much clearer, and yet, we are so immersed in this mud that we are compelled to follow the stream. It would be so easy to turn the tide around, use media to deliver positive messages, build one another instead of destroying and abusing, but this is not what some forces’ plans are.
The hope is that we awaken, find the clarity of mind, will power, and ability to look within ourselves and reconnect with our true, good human nature, because tradition and good values are not outdated and old fashioned as some would like to make us believe.