As I write these words we are in between the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention.
We have had plenty of people talk about how wonderful and terrible Hillary/Donald are and how the only answer is moving to Canada.
But the topic of Hype & Ignorance applies to many hot topics unrelated to our current Presidential race.
I’m not aware of the bias of the news media when I was a kid in the 60’s and 70’s but I’m guessing there was less than we have now. Walter Cronkite was Uncle Walter, the legendary CBS Evening News Anchor that told my family what had happened in the last 24 hours. You watched it at 5:30pm, because that’s when it aired. Catch it live or miss it was the only option.
The 24/7 news cycle that began with CNN and has grown to include other cable news channels needed to fill 168 every week with news and so more than what Uncle Walter could squeeze into 30 minutes each day was needed.
Eventually with the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, the doors were opened for more opinion oriented broadcasts on radio and TV, because the Federal Communications Commission did not require broadcasters to provide equal time to opposing views.
This ability to present just one side in broadcast media grew even further with the accessibility of the internet and eventually social media which has given anyone with a smart phone the ability to share their views with everyone.
No longer do we have a standard of truth to hold people accountable to present just the facts without bias.
This has led to both hype & sensationalism along with stubborn ignorance.
The polarization of the people on issues is a natural occurrence. I’m not saying it’s right, but it develops naturally. We tend to hang out with people we agree with rather than those we disagree with. It feels better to be friends with someone you have something in common with versus someone you have nothing in common with.
The reality is that we really have plenty in common we disagree with, if we just have meaningful conversations that don’t dissolve into name calling.
- The only way to resolve this is to learn what the bias is of the person or media that you are listening to/reading/watching.
- Once you know the filter that the information is being presented through, you begin to see the Hype that is also going on to magnify and justify that position.
- Then seek out the opposite or opposing view and see what they say about the same issue. This is how you can combat Ignorance in your own life.
There is plenty of Hype on both sides of any issue along with individual Ignorance because of staying in our “safe zones”.
I urge you to do your homework and stop blindly agreeing with what others are saying. Become informed and determine your own opinions. Or you may also find yourself with simply a greater understanding of the various issues and pick up some new friends along the way like I have.