Junkie – noun – a person with a compulsive habit or obsessive dependency on something (Google Dictionary)
I like watching news shows on TV and listening to news shows on the radio. Typically it’s how I start and end my days. I am much more drawn to news commentary programs on the radio than I am to music while I am working or driving in my car. It takes a really good sitcom or other entertaining show to kick me out of my evening FOX News or CNN habit. I suppose I would have to categorize myself as a news “junkie” because if I am away from it for too long I feel out of sorts. I think I like news because it affirms for me that the world still exists regardless of humanity’s imperfections and the earthly disasters.
Last week I was following the hearings in Congress concerning Facebook and whether this company intentionally used its platform to stifle conservative thought, sell third party information, and direct a mostly liberal culture on its users who, knowingly or not, were used in a game of persuasion. Is this persuasive behavior a new phenomenon? I think not. After all it is human nature to try to control outcomes which is exactly what these platforms attempt to do…I wish they would just get real about it!
Our Founders knew about this tendency of control which is why they specifically created our government to have checks and balances. A tyrannical President can’t remain in power long when you incorporate a term limit, consistently elect representatives to direct legislation, and enact a judiciary to interpret the constitutionality of laws. But what do corporations have to limit their control?
Corporations have a board of directors, shareholders, a workforce and consumers. All too often shareholders are caught up in a game of chance, and “risky business” is perpetuated from the top in order to increase profits. Unless you are carefully looking at your retirement portfolio, you too are caught up in this game of chance, which means that if you are an employee and/or a consumer of the product or service, you really don’t want this house of cards to tumble. We are all “junkies” to the system!
Even the conservative commentary queens Diamond and Silk are in the game, making their living by using a corporation like Facebook to increase their viewership. I guess their popularity is not enough for Facebook to worry about removing them from the FB platform…Does this mean that Facebook is “too big to fail” and not too concerned about their profits falling by pulling conservative viewership? Consider the hubris of removing conservative free speech and reducing the profitability of the Diamond and Silk brand…We are all losers when this control of free speech exists.
Back to the NEWS>>> So what is it with “fake news”? Well, by using the above logic we can see that we get our news from organizations that run as corporations. These organizations are caught up in this game of chance too. Decisions from the top are made to increase their profitability. Viewership is important, but only because of ratings. Therefore, if you give the viewer what they “want” then you succeed. And what does the viewer want? I don’t think many of the news organizations care because what I see is simply salaciousness, intrigue, teasers and shock. Anything but actual and complete facts…but that doesn’t sell!
So here we are in this crazy world of our making. We have bought into it because money makes the world go round as they say and it is habit forming. Disengaging will cause numerous repercussions, but we must plug back into reality when we can. Consider your local community as the best place to begin. As a civic leader in my own community I can attest to that. And, in my small business my work makes me meet personally with my customers…My responsibilities can’t be hidden by corporate layers.
Watch the news with discernment, keep an eye on your investments, and use social media cautiously. Oh, and shop local 😉