Society is not prepared for what technology is doing to it when our mass media can tailor content to every individual. No one is seeing the full picture and no one is seeing what the other person sees. This tears society apart with hostility, confusion, mistrust.
Every president makes mistakes, every president has successes, but our media now filters what our presidents do to placate different audience segments. All the bad things, the president does, is broadcast to these people over here, and all the good things, the president does, is broadcast to those people over there. Media creates a multiverse where there is more than one president. He is sliced and diced and parceled out to badly isolated markets and segments of media consumers. So most of us think we know the president and few of us do, and from now on, this will be true of all presidents and all partisan figures and all issues. Our media is now smart enough to confirm our personal prejudices and media profits from doing that. As we accept the lie of partisanship, we are being isolated with incomplete information. Universal truth and common purpose are being eliminated from the human experience because we must be fighting with each other to make media business models work and to allow us to be thrust into partisan loyalty and adversarial postures to make the corrupt political system work. The information you get is utterly disconnected and contrary to the information other people get, even the person that may be standing right next to you. The exact same media that tells you that your progressive values are superior is telling your friend that conservative values are superior, and that person will not be your friend for very long. Most of us are not only operating on incomplete or false information, we are as a society operating on conflicting information, which is fabricated to control us. The main reason, we don’t have the full truth is not just that we’re told lies, but that most of us don’t really want the truth. When the truth makes us uncomfortable, we choose comfort over truth, illusion over fact. We habitually try to reduce our stress levels. We can only handle so much cognitive dissonance then we look for dark, quiet holes where we feel safe. We gladly let media technologies lie to us and enforce our biases and keep unpleasant facts out of our view. This is just human nature and media now has the technology to exploit that human flaw to the maximum. The new technology that makes this possible is the one where big data management systems can tailor and target different messages and information to every single different person in the world. A society is divided into conflicting segments, which are highly ignorant of each other’s perceptions.
Media thrives on this social division; they play us against each other. We can always find media to confirm our biases and agree with us, but we cannot always find a human being, a friend, who agrees with all our positions, like media can now do. So now we gain more comfort and assurance from our media than we do from our friends. So technology and media are gaining status in our lives, while personal relationships between people are losing status, but to exploit us in this way, media must make extensive use of surveillance and must determine our personalities and preferences, must drill deeply into our lives, and must delicately feed each of us different content and messages very carefully crafted and personalized to win our hearts and minds. By knowing each of us intimately, media gains the power to toy with our emotions.
Media wants you to fear something, or hate some group, so that media can pose as your only true and real friend, so that you will feel intimate with media while feeling disconnected with everyone else. To be your best friend, media must give you pretty lies and keep you in a bubble. Just as a celebrity or executive wants an entourage of yes-men, all of us can now have our yes-man; it’s our cellphone or browser. It knows us and it obsessively serves us only what it thinks we want. The media handles us exactly how the sociopath will gaslight a friend, a spouse, or a younger sibling to make her feel like no one understands and loves her, except that one special friend. For a sociopath to gain total control of a person’s mind he must eliminate all other points of influence in his victim’s life; he must become the sole source of information, support, and love. Once his victim is isolated then he may start committing abuses. So our new electronic media, games, social networks, and news feeds are positioning themselves as our primary connection to the world. By extracting your psychological profile from your behavior, what you say, where you go, who you know, what you like and don’t like, media can create a special little world for you to live in. Media can then feed you content to convince you that your view of the world is right and people who disagree with you are wrong. What is actually true is completely irrelevant; it’s all about using surveillance to build a deep and complex profile of your mind then using that profile to echo yourself back to you with a highly tailored and curated stream of selected information, designed to hold your attention at all costs and to be in that safe zone where you are never troubled with what is going on in the real world around you. The only thing that matters is what makes you love your media and continually engage your media; like a parent who constantly gives the infant more and more candy and less and less real food that system is not good for us in the long run. Now we have another major problem with our technological media as it is not only feeding us lies, distortions, and omissions, and parroting our biases, it is now censoring on behalf of those who control technology and media. It is twisting our views to become consistent with their views.
By the messages and images they give us, they capture us, direct us, and they guide us into service and loyalty to them with censorship, omission of facts and truth, lies about people and things, putting us into fear than offering the solutions that they plan to impose, which always cost us money and redirects our attention and actions to serve some undisclosed agenda, and, above all, keeps us addicted to media. Media is not just a platform, it is a tool of social control for those who wish to influence us, to use us, exploit us, even destroy us, and now they have perfect tools with which to do that.
It costs money to produce media, someone is paying for that and they want to achieve some result. They want something in return. Our new technological media has not one, but many layers, there’s the sponsor who pays for the advertising then there’s the sponsor who pays and controls the content, the actual programming, then there’s the sponsor who creates the platform and wants to influence people in a broader way, then there’s the carrier who doesn’t care what the content is as long as it keeps you tuning in. They must not only get messages to us, it must get us to pay for the infrastructure, the gadgets, the carriers, the networks. We won’t pay for all that unless they give us things we love. Only if we love it and use it, can they repurpose it to control us. The technology that is enabled, all of this, is very new and the effects on society are experimental, clumsy, sometimes highly valuable in the way it can convey information, sometimes very destructive with toxic radio frequencies and polluting consumption of energy. We are guinea pigs for technocrats and this new technology to see how we, on the human farm, can be herded, corralled, harvested, and slaughtered in fully automated ways. They are still developing this technology, sometimes making mistakes, sometimes hurting people. They’re trying to find out how to maximize revenue, how to perfect social control, how to profit from our ignorance, conflict, and intellectual isolation, how to put us in fear and in hate so we can be manipulated with those very powerful emotions. They are learning how to have us begging for more candy while they wrap that candy with their messages, agenda, and behavioral control. They are finding ways to make us love their surveillance. We want them to know more about us, so they will give us more that pleases us. They want us on their leash and if they do it right, we want to be guided by that leash. So what can we do?
We can trick media into showing us things we don’t like, we can seek truth even if it hurts, or we can simply shut off the media and refocus on things that will improve our social connections in other ways – real social connections, real working and productive relationships. We can create enterprise and take control of our destiny, rather than drift aimlessly in an ocean of media manipulation. It takes a certain level of maturity to recognize that some of the things we like are not good for us. Young people are especially vulnerable to media manipulation and media addiction. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize how media has become a parasite, a poison. It looks good, it makes us feel good, it must be good, generally that is no longer true. Media is a temptation, a lure to cause us to be tracked, monitored, controlled, and deprived of our wealth and self-determination. It is a distraction we crave, an escape we feel we need. Technology is working hard to learn how to manage us, so we must learn how to manage media in our lives, so media does not become the driver of our lives. We must hold media to high standards of truth, objectivity, utility, and value. We must know that we are being played, and we must find ways to prevent that or at least be aware of how it is being done. We must question everything. We must stay conscious, alert, and critical because with today’s technology when we relax, we are being taken over, invaded, redirected, used, depleted, damaged. Media is hypnotic and under hypnosis you are not exercising free will or critical thinking. Under hypnosis, you are going wherever the hypnotist wants to take you. We must ask ourselves: Am I in control of this or is someone else? Is this improving my life? Is this making me hate? Is this causing me fear? Do I need this? Is this really worthwhile or is it just pacifying me? As media becomes better at capturing us, we must become better at escaping and maintaining control of our own lives. This technology is highly advanced and getting more so every day. It is like a giant hole, opening up in the ground, that we’re all falling into. More and more, when we tune into technology and media, we tune out of our own worlds, our own needs and purposes, even our own values. We become pieces on someone else’s game board. To stay conscious in our use of technology, we must ask: Are we seeking guidance, reassurance, and comfort from our technology and media, or are we really imagining, planning, and creating better lives for ourselves? Are we generating our own creative thoughts, or are our thoughts being externally guided? The only way, we have any control over what our lives become, is to imagine that for ourselves and we make our own plans to cause what we imagine to become reality. Imagining our futures and how to effectively manage our lives is not something we can do while consuming media messages, we have to turn it off.
Jerry Day originally published, “This Is Your Brain On Technology And News Media” on YouTube in May 2020. Support Jerry’s work by donating bitcoin: 1CQEFo1rQ412FhWV8jZntuiqpmgHeFVxYv
Transcribed by Oluwafunmilayo Elizabeth Bamidele – contact her via email for her transcription services: firstname.lastname@example.org.