how responsible are we?

in the turmoil that has hit our country
over the last few years,
i have become even more of a believer
in personal responsibility
and our need to pay attention to our every act.

this led me to a real struggle with how to access news.

how do i find non biased information in a world of bias?
how do i even search for it when my search engine is biased?

as i’ve gone down the road to figuring this out,
i have stopped using google as a search engine,
have found the epoch times for news
and came across the book ‘trust me i’m lying’ by ryan holiday.

this book has been so disturbingly eye opening to me.
to be clear, i am in no way a fan of the author.
in fact, i do believe he is probably one of the main reasons
i decided NOT to use american apparel when i was creating tee shirts.
but i believe it could only be written by somebody like him,
because that is who would be a ‘media manipulator.’

here’s a couple of quotes from the book –
‘The problem is that facts are rarely clearly good or bad. They just are.
The truth is often boring and complicated. Navigating this quandary forces marketers and publishers to conspire to distort this information into something that will register on the emotional spectrum of the audience. To turn it into something that spreads and to drive clicks. Behind the scenes I work to crank up the valence of articles, relying on scandal, conflict, triviality, titillation, and dogmatism. Whatever will ensure transmission.’

‘As Chris Hedges, the philosopher and journalist, wrote, ‘In an age of images and entertainment, in an age of instant emotional gratification, we neither seek nor want honesty or reality. Reality is complicated. Reality is boring. We are incapable or unwilling to handle its confusion.’

i learned a little bit of the history of journalism and now believe we are indeed back into the age of ‘yellow journalism.’ i am looking at every divisive headline and refusing to click on it. i just saw a reporter from msnbc apologize for a false reporting based on one source. ( i now know the source could be ANYONE at all, including myself making up stories) and then proceed to use the apology for more clicks. there were no consequences, only rewards. i now understand how these rewards fuel more and more of the same actions.

i wanted to post about this book because i think it’s important for anyone who believes that their actions in the world color the world. for anyone who is exhausted by the division that we are ALL creating with every single click that encourages this stuff, and for anyone looking for some sort of truth and wondering how to find it.

i will continue to search and if i bump into helpful things, i’ll share.

i believe it’s up to every single one of us to think before we click,
to ponder if something is true before we share it,
to ask ourselves if we’re feeding some sort of unhealthy need within us,
and to think harder and deeper than we ever have before.

let’s all help each other be more.