Everything you see on TV, hear on the radio, read in a magazine, or receive any other way from commercial mass media is carefully filtered. You've been conditioned to perceive what you receive in all those ways as part of your extended reality, your view over the horizon, so to speak, in certain contexts, and that "events really happening a long distance away" perception is triggered by certain visual and/or aural cues that signal "news".
There's a trust built into that perception that leaves us extremely vulnerable to manipulation. Consider for a moment that you perceive a large part of the world through mass media communication channels that are run by corporate owners who are not impartial, and the bulk of the ownership is concentrated in a very small number of companies with their own agendas .. and you still perceive what they report as actually happening, somewhere in the world far outside your direct experience. You also tend to perceive things not reported through these channels as not really happening. Mass media, corporate-owned media, shape your perception of the world in ways that convince you they're reality or, by their absence, remove themselves from your perception completely. It's a subtle trick, and there are countless ways to exploit it. And it's been exploited, in a number of those ways.
How much of that shaping process is deliberate and by design? Probably very difficult to tell for sure, but given the concentrated ownership of most news outlets, and the agendas most if not all of them are pressured to follow, it's almost a certainty that it's being exploited in at least some ways. And it's a shaping process you're exposed to on a nearly constant basis, if you watch TV or listen to the radio at all during the day, or read magazines on a regular basis. It's a wicked bargain -- you gain the sense of being an informed citizen who's knowledgeable about current events, but your perception of those events is inevitably skewed and slanted in the direction the people who bring it to you want it to be, and you accept information as factual that is often incomplete if not outright misleading.
And that's one of many ways in which we're programmed to believe what we're supposed to, and accept a view of reality that's favorable to certain powerful interests in this society that have a vested interest in our beliefs about them -- and about ourselves -- not undergoing significant changes from the status quo. And those beliefs serve the people controlling our perceptions, not us, because their interests are entirely motivated by profit, and reinforcing devaluing perceptions of ourselves is a profitable angle to their business.
One reason there's any awareness of this process at all is the channel by which you're reading this: the Internet. For the first time in history, we have genuine many-to-many communication -- we can talk back to the TV, in a sense, and be heard. This one medium is a complete game-changer in this equation, and its true significance and the extent to which it will ultimately change our perception of the world and our interactions with others is still largely unknown. It's potentially as fundamental an innovation as the invention of printing itself, and has the potential to make one-to-many mass communication completely obsolete.
And challenge or even completely defeat the process by which we've been trained over the past decades to think the way we're supposed to.
And the major corporate media players have come late to the game, and for once, the democratic nature of many-to-many communication slipped in under their radar, and gave us a huge head start. We have the potential, still, to leverage that advantage into a true fair marketplace of ideas that allows us to gain a truer understanding of our world and of ourselves. The corporate players have definitely joined the game and begun putting strategies in place to monopolize our perception through this channel, as well, and have engaged in a number of legislative lobbying efforts to dilute the influence of many-to-many communication if not outright make it impossible, but in this instance, it's not at all clear whether or not they even can succeed. That question is one we have the power to answer, ourselves, by either asserting our ownership of the channel -- which we still have, for now -- or allowing them to take it over and turn it into just another kind of TV that tells us what we're supposed to think.
So, if it comes down to it, are you willing to fight for an unfiltered reality and the right to your own autonomy in it, or are you comfortable going back to being told what to think and how to perceive the world? It's up to you .. if you're reading this, you have the power to get involved, and there's a window of opportunity that may soon close ..