The evolution of technology has made life increasingly convenient with machinery installed to point of indispensability. With the introduction of novel technology how information is received has periodically altered. The original metamorphosis saw community hearsay spawn into print media, after a prolonged period radio waves began to communicate across the sky and within a generation sounds were matched with pictures, TV the new family member. Television remained the salient information provider up until the late 20th century when the Internet began its globalization, by mid 00’s every one was online and new propagating platforms ascended.
Although thriving, it wasn’t until the smart phone’s inclusion that the Internet’s reach prodigiously surged. As IPhones were placed in pockets social media cemented itself into society’s psyche, suddenly everyone had tailored content wherever they went. As the Internet’s connectivity elongated an appreciation for legitimacy was replaced with a quest for digital capital, knowledge extension exchanged for the comfort of bias confirmation.
The Rush for Ratings
In the modern world most individuals only read personalized content from their customized screens, and with less people reading and more people liking the invaluable paperback has lost its prevalence.
The deterioration of reading as a hobby began it’s decay during the rise of television, although the written word still had stout primacy it soon become evident the talking screen captivated a much larger, newly sedated audience. In the early days of television public broadcasting channels earnestly delivered news to citizens and disseminated information beneficial to community cohesion, however, as satellites extended selection news stations emerged and a battle for ratings overrode integrity.
What started with authenticity shifted to insincerity by TV stations and journalists invoking our evolutionary fear instinct; what once helped our ancestors survive was systematically used, and still is used, to beguile the audience into anxiety and keep them watching. For over a generation people have relied on the news as a foundational part of their understanding and their apt for providing content on current affairs cannot be denied, yet, it must been seen that the material offered is always shaped by the interests of funders.
Presently it is difficult to find an information source on the tube that’s main priority isn’t viewership, the word of CNN or FOX is practically invalidated by the specious tactics used to nurture bias. With the ability to relay events to the public news outlets can mould occurrences how they want them to be seen, hiding behind a veil of legitimacy whilst spouting choreographed versions of truth.
If people are only privy to one-sided reports community’s divide by what individuals elect to expose themselves to; as Jim Morrison spoke, “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”
A Shift of Saliency
Whilst the mainstream media still anchors itself in television new platforms are consistently arising for people to both source and spread material, in the modern era the Internet the superlative source for information and entertainment.
The 24-hour access of the Internet provides endless amounts of content for anyone to immediately extend their knowledge, however, sifting through the extensive fields of fallacy it’s often difficult to acquire what’s desired.
A major shift from the origins of online to now is the development of social media and the impinging urge to create digital capital, what once used to be a tool to connect has morphed into an increasingly salient virtual reality. Social media has become a primary platform for the latest information with media outlets themselves altering orientation towards digital modes as degeneration of their tangible product continues.
Fabrication and falsehood are bountiful throughout the social media realm and click bait ensures more sensationalistic stories continue to sprout. Accompanying the incessant stripping of attention spans algorithms track users predilections and propagate sponsored content to them, the communication vehicles becoming a furnace for incubating intense fiery bias. Objectivity is essential to critical thinking and if one only sees what they agree with their ability to appreciate alternate perspectives atrophies, exposure to conflicting views inducing a near allergic-like reaction.
Social media allows individuals to voice their views on anything they feel necessary, the power to simultaneously interact with numerous people inducing pretension in even the most ill-informed. Rather than pursuing the advancement of one’s own intellect it is more common for individuals to apply tunnel vision towards next like, inspection into validity not required if the content conveys their intention.
When digital information transporters of are used candidly they become an avenue to education and understanding, yet, with fiction overtly overriding fact it is as Emily Dickinson wrote, “The truth is so rare it is a delight to tell it.”
Embracing the Light of Genius
For the children and youth of today paperbacks are hardly seen as escapism rather an indication of forced instruction, yet, an interest in literature is enduringly auspicious to a creative mind and informed life.
Being at the forefront of time we have all the material engendered hitherto at our disposal, what’s routinely neglected is our ancestors didn’t make YouTube videos or blog posts but inked their ideas into history leaving a treasure trove of thought.
One of the most potent signs of intellect is proficiency for reading and writing, by affording great minds a medium to convey concepts these skills were essential to the development of human contemplation. In our advanced society the attitude towards reading has become less favourable, and although books are still bolstered by a thinking minority, the fact it is more common to hear “What’s trending?” than “What are you reading?” indicates what occupies the public zeitgeist.
Descartes expressed his admiration for the written word and the enlightening advantages he saw in having a conversation with brilliant people of the past. What makes books so enchanting is an offer of a personal encounter with mind’s both living and dead, they temporarily sync one’s consciousness with the authors and transport it to an alternate perspective of reality. The greats of history have provided humanity diverse interpretations of life; how it was, how it is and how one should live in it. Their work offers illumination to those willing to pull back the blinds of ignorance and embrace the light of genius.
Books may not deliver the latest information but enable better interpretation of novel occurrences, an ability to critically think and identify patterns perpetually enhancing competence. The greats remain alive in their work and allow the trivialities of modern life to be seen naked, if one spends less time compulsively scanning a screen and more developing the skill of reading the heat of intellect will grant warmth in a world gone cold.
As the rate of technology continues to grow there has been an adverse affect on the appreciation for truth and legitimacy, while timeless classics remain on shelves viewership primacy has carolled our attention to fleeting affairs. No time in history has the resources we now possess been so widely available, but it is up to individuals to use original instruments for their benefit and avoid becoming slaves to their new toys.
The legacy of the greats is left in their work and those willing to dive in will swim in intellectual tides, and with the grandeur of reality waiting to be explored it seems folly to not accept the advice of those we know to be giants.
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