24 June 2015

Dreamer’s World - Something Bigger than Yourself

I have spent some time thinking about how we can change the world we live in when we seen injustice and exploitation of others. To recognize these problems and take part in trying to find solutions means that we are working as part of something larger than ourselves. I have written before about the value of social media in these efforts, and I will continue to emphasize the importance of social media as things move forward.
To put things into perspective, until the recent past, I will say 2012, we were at the mercy of the traditional media to inform us of things that happened outside of our local area. Even the advent of 24-hour news networks didn’t really address this situation. The networks simply decided what we were to to see and what we were to be told about it. While this was a change from the past prior to the 1980s, it really provided nothing more than a magnification of how we were spoon fed information up until that time.
As CNN arrived, the media soon discovered that they could not maintain reporting around the clock. This was NOT because there was any lack of importune things happening, rather it was CHEAPER for them to start plugging in as many infoporn stories as they could because these infoporn stories did not require any reporting skills, just a talking head to parrot what was being told to them.
the first example, for those old enough to remember, was Jessica McClure, the infant who fell into a well in her backyard in Texas. There was non-stop reporting on every minute detail of this story, and the dreaded “human interest” sections were expanded. This proved to CNN, and would also prove to their imitators MSNBC and Fake News, that these “stories” could be packaged and promoted without any true news interest.
Let me pause to say that for those of you who were not around at the time, Jessica McClure was rescued and I am happy that was the case. Jessica was 18 months old when this happened to her, it was a tragic accident and she had no control over how people responded.
Regardless, the pattern was established for the 24-hour news networks to package items that were NOT truly news. This is the beginning of “infoporn”, the type of bullshit that people could talk about with one another that really didn’t require any thought, and that lent itself to pre-formed opinion, rather than discussion of the various aspects of it.
We fast forward to 2012 and we have the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin. This story was the first one that I can recall where social media bagel to outperform the traditional media. The pre-packaged infoporn was presented to the public, and many people still swallowed it hook. line, and sinker. The difference was generational at first, younger people simply refused to let go of this story because it did involve something that was very serious, the loss of a human life, the issue of guns and violence, and the issue of racism.
Ever since the Trayvon Martin case, things have changed for the better in terms of people paying attention to what is really going on in the world. The traditional media are still trying to put the genie back into the bottle and control the stories, but they re failing miserably. I think that this is a good thing because it proves the rigged game that they were running all along.
Mike Brown was the next big case that showed what a fucked-up world we live in. Once again, social media was there and was NOT letting this go. The blatant cover-up and the failure to prosecute the police officer focused the spotlight on injustice as it had not been in decades.
Eric Garner was the next example of this ugly side to our society, once again social media was there and remains involved. I like to make the point that in the past, stories like Trayvon, Mike, or Eric were labeled as “isolated incidents”. Now we know that there is a pattern of behavior that we can all see around us. We were LIED TO before by those who we trusted to keep us informed.
And we now look at things today. There are still awful tragedies and TERRORIST attacks like the one in Charleston, SC. But while the traditional media wants to divert our attention away from this with their next batch of infoporn, we are staying focused on the important story. More has been done to draw attention to the RACISM in this country since the TERRORIST attack than I can remember in my lifetime. I was a small child during the Civil Rights portion of the 1960s, so I don’t really remember that at all.
We, the PEOPLE, are doing this WITHOUT any help from the traditional media. Eventually, traditional media will go the way of the dinosaur if they refuse to adapt. As people become more tech savvy, and realize how much there is going on that we were NOT made aware of before, I fail to see how the traditional media can remain relevant except to those with no interest in learning the truth.
It feels great to be part of something bigger than yourself. Individually, we could never accomplish the things that we show the promise of right now, but together we can move mountains.