Today we are in a day and age where we have an abundance of content.
Media hits us from every direction and as a result, our consumption has gone up.
Looking to statistics; US residents spend an average of 323 minutes per week watching video content - and this is on mobile phones alone.
Additionally, we have new forms of consumption with the age of fast media being on the rise with new mediums such as Tik Tok and Youtube shorts.
In the space of 60 seconds, we can easily watch 4 pieces of content on some of the social platforms.
Gone are the days of 3 TV channels, book exchanges, the sense of boredom, and mass discussion.
Why does this matter?
We are being dumbed down.
Studies have shown that our attention spans are now lower than that of a goldfish.
We cannot sit still, think and reflect.
So much is going on in our lives all the time, slowness is often too much of a contrast for many to handle, yet, this is the place where ideas come from.
Content is being spooned to us and we take it, wanting not to be bored, so we spend more time-consuming.
This leads to an inability to do hard things like research.
Why do we need to research?
When we have a culture of people who don't do research we have people just accepting what is given to them.
No challenge, no individual thought, no hardship- just hundreds of thousands of zombie clones.
When we combine a mass reliance on short-form content and an inability to curate individual thought that is when we turn to media for the answers to our problems resulting in whoever controlling that medium being in control of our views.
This is so harmful as with these 15-second clips there is little to no background or context in issues, therefore, it can be manipulated to fit a narrative. You cannot tell the full story in such a short time and we are letting other agendas take over without us knowing.
Sadly we are placed into a false sense of security believing we know something when in actual fact we don't- we just don't know what we don't know- we have only one part of the picture.
So not only are we mass indulging in the same ideology but it can sometimes not even be an honest one. We are falling into the trap of believing that we are consuming multiple opinions due to the sheer amount of content but in actual fact, we have an algorithm dictating what we view and most of the time it wants to brainwash us one way- take for example the Covid situation, talk about that and you are flagged or banned from platforms.
We don't have to have strong views on these issues but to completely deny access to information is not right.
So what is the solution? Never consume everything ever?
We are in a new age of technology- Web 3, Cryptocurrencies, and the Metaverse, are all imminent pressures to our society.
The solution is not to hide in a cave rather become more self-aware and acknowledge the workings of this new information; learn to recognise the futile nature of some of these communications, the narrow perspective it offers, and the need to do external individual research.
Learning from social media is completely fine but when our facts and reliability for statements on issues come from mass opinion on Twitter we are standing on very dangerous ground.
We need to encourage healthy debate, reading, long-form research and push each other to get to the root of the complexity of our world issues otherwise we'll never be able to progress.
Intention and discernment will be key things for all of us, especially those brought up on technology, information naivety is a real thing- so better to do our own research than fall victim to various persuasions and propaganda appearing more and more each day.
So stay curious and don't be a zombie. Thanks for reading.