EDITORIAL: How To Deal With Propaganda And Misinformation In A Time of Media Influence And Domination.
We are living in a time of information overload when truths, falsehood, and propaganda are being shared and thrown around at every direction through several media, outlets, devices, and gadgets. The average individual is now bombarded at work, at home, at the supermarket, and even in open places like bus stops, train terminals, parks, squares, etc. The airwaves, public screens, billboards and even personal devices such as cell-phones are filled with messages of every kind as advertisers seek to outdo each other in the battle to reach the consumer. Television and radio networks aggressively battle for higher ratings sometimes ignoring principles of journalism and decent broadcasting etiquette.
Accordingly, many are confused or misinformed, while others who know better are frustrated on how to deal with the trend. The barrage of information is sometimes overwhelming and at other times too quick and numerous for the average individual to cope with it. It is such that merely ignoring incoming information may no longer be enough, while attempting to shut out all incoming information may not solve the situation either. It will actually get more intense as new social media outlets and new technological gadgets of information dissemination are introduced. The concern is that a good percentage of some populace are very gullible and easily swayed by whatever information they are fed. Very few now have the patience to research information, ideas, or suggestion. Very few have the patience to spend time on materials that would enhance their self-realization and awareness. Many may not even read to the end of this page. Interestingly, some know these and are constantly tapping into the situation using all available outlets at their disposal to disseminate propaganda and falsehood by filling the airwaves with negative suggestions and vibrations. So, how does one handle the trend?
There is no precise cure to the situation yet there are simple things and simple guidelines one could practice or apply to maintain some sanity and stay above the fray. The cardinal rule is to stay alert and not let our guards down. Be the keeper of your own gate of information. Scrutinize all that comes through whether from your cell-phone, television, radio, emails, internet, chats, and even forums. That way one does not have to take everything hook, line, and sinker. Indeed, there is much that one could learn out there, and information is power but we must put ourselves in a driving position to consciously decide what we want to learn and what should empower us. The nature of the substance that empowers us determines what we can channel to others - positive or negative, constructive or destructive.
One has to be alert and aware to be able to feed on the right stuff. To be conscious not docile, to be active not passive, and to be discriminatory not gullible about what information one consumes or shares. The trend of information overload and the casualty of misinformation is not going away. One has to acknowledge that this is an age of media influence and domination so that one can readily brace oneself and learn how to sift through the junk and how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Truly, so much junk and propaganda are circulated by way of things written and shared. In an age of Photoshop, many come up with doctored documents and images to drive home their misinformation. It is wiser to always have it at the back of one's mind that if it is too good to be true, it is possibly not true. Invest a brief moment of research to verify anything suspicious or outrageous before one adopts or shares with another. Unlike written materials, videos mostly speak for themselves and are less susceptible to manipulation since one gets to see the action aligned with what is said which helps the truth and the viewer's comprehension. Yet, video and audio contents could still be doctored/edited.
The bottom-line is this; one has to be informed and aware to query and filter things that do not seem to add up before one adopts them so that one does not inadvertently become an instrument of propaganda or falsehood. Every human being has the ability of choice and the faculty of imagination and analysis. That is what makes man a foremost divine being.