Lifestyle: Media Saturation
Our populous is the most divided it’s been since the Civil War. Conservatives versus Liberals, Democrats versus Republicans, the divides go on and on. An obvious reason for this is people are so accustomed to putting themselves first, instead of their country. I think there is another more obfuscated reason.
I believe our complete media saturation has had a sinister effect. Years ago, before 24 hour news channels and the internet, we got our news from newspapers and a few evening news programs. These were staffed by journalists. They were journalists in the truest sense of the word. They would be appalled if anyone could ascertain their private beliefs from the way they reported a story. Detached observation was their creed. That’s not very common anymore. There are few real journalists. Most, so-called news, is delivered by commentators. Instead of real news it’s a circle of commentators commenting on others commentary. They are not ashamed to show their bias. In fact, they seem to be proud of it.
This means we, the audience, must carefully analyze what we are presented and make our own informed decisions. We can’t rely on our “news sources” for the unbiased truth, anymore. We are lucky, in that, we have such a deluge of information available to us. There are many channels of news. There is the internet. Because of information age technology, we have instantaneous coverage of worldwide events. This is good-or is it? I think this very wealth of information contains a hidden threat. We can reinforce whatever belief we have by simply occupying ourselves with the information that we already believe in. We don’t have to subject ourselves to the uncomfortable feeling of being exposed to differing opinions and ideas. We allow ourselves to settle in to a position that is solidified in our own minds. If you never hear dissention then you must be right!
We lose the ability to hear alternatives. This engenders a feeling of “us against them”. Therein lies the problem. We are all Americans. We thrive or perish together. We must begin again the process of cooperation. Not one side “giving in” to the other; but, real cooperation where consensus is reached for the good of all. Congress has always practiced partisan politics; but, when needed, we had a rare few statesmen who would remind their colleagues to work together for the good of all Americans, not just their party. We have let our representatives get away from this because they are our representatives. They represent our partisanship and our closed mindedness. We have to change this from the ground up. We must change our way of thinking before we can expect our representatives to change theirs. They do what they need to do to get elected. They do what we, the people, want, even if we don’t like to admit it. We elect these people. We are the only ones who can change anything. I believe we are running out of time to reverse this course. We all must work together. Patrick Henry said, “United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.” He said this in 1799. It is even more true today.