America is in a psychological and or spiritual crisis, increasingly the narrative of “America Divided” is being spread across the internet. Recently America has been collectively losing its marbles, pushing the America divided narrative further along. Americans have always been a little crazy but it’s gotten worse with social media and the unique mental distortions that come with it.
The internet has made everyone a little bit crazier, directly or indirectly. The way people “filter” their news on the internet, ignoring and shunning anything they disagree with has made their perception of reality distorted and their filter bubbles that much stronger. As if it’s not bad enough people are selectively choosing what facts to believe, they’re waging ideological warfare from politics, religion, media, and even diet (ie: Paleo vs. Veganism.)
The internet has facilitated this notion noticeably after the election of Barrack Obama the first batch of “crazies” made it mainstream with the tea party, but they’re hardly the only ones. Social media helps shape false realities, connecting likeminded crazy people and enabling them to selectively chose their truth, their facts and have their opinions mirrored only by similarly likeminded people. “I read/heard on the internet…”
Morale and sanity may be low at the moment, especially when things like the internet hypothetically provide more access to resources and knowledge than ever before in human history. America has always been a contentious place, but at least traditionally it tried to outweigh violence and injustice with tolerance and support of individual liberties. More due to political pressure and social media torch mobs, certain individual freedoms are being increasingly repressed and open dialogue is being shouted down.
Americans are fed up with a lack of government accountability on both sides blaming their own inaction and or incompetence on “the other side.” Each half of the two-party duopoly predictably cries foul when they lose. Using their ‘blame the other guy’ tactic they absolve themselves of blame and responsibility proclaiming the solution be to “stop them, vote for us”, rather than ever being held accountable for fixing an issue independent of the voting cycle.
The constant need for “an enemy” is hardly new, and in the absence of a concrete threat besides “terrorism,” people are turning on one another. A lot of people are just mad in general, drug abuse is at an all-time high with opioids prescription and illegal killing almost 70,000 people per year – more than all American soldier casualties in Vietnam. It’s understandable that people are mad and want to blame somebody, even if there isn’t a clear enemy to blame.
There have always been crazy people but nobody gave them ‘a platform’ and collectively we would look down on anyone who did. There’s no reason to get upset with crazy people as long as they don’t have power and influence, so the fact that news is giving them power and influence should be a bigger issue rather than crazy people themselves. The news is turning deranged killers into instant celebrities, spurring more celebrity terrorists.
The internet has made everyone a little crazier, shaping our worldview for the worse. Since 9/11 the news has been a goldmine for attention seeking terrorists: recently the MAGA bomber and the synagogue shooter. Sadly the news makes little to no effort to mitigate the terror they cover and more often than not will give attention seeking terrorists an audience of millions, while they profit off the ads.
News media has a massive amount of power for controlling our perspective on how the public sees the world. According to some news outlets, half of the country are demented racist psychopaths who elected a rapist. According to other “sides” news outlets, the ‘intolerant liberals’ are brainwashing the country and using progressivism as some sort of Spanish Inquisition to police their morals on everyone. Neither narrative is true, but both news outlets are profiting off the outrage and delusion.
It would be nice if the news didn’t give deranged attention-seeking psychopaths committing massacres like school shootings, church and synagogue shootings exactly what they want. The media makes the mistake of providing fame and notoriety to terrorists turning them into anti-hero celebrities, complete with groupie followings. The media’s appetite for terror will give despicable murderers thousands of hours of airtime coverage, including going over their lives and sad stories.
Does the public really need to see a video of a man’s head getting chopped off to for a news story about a man’s head getting chopped off? With very few exceptions, the majority of the ‘terror’ in terrorism is fully transmitted through the news, providing not only a platform for terrorists to broadcast their message but also an incentive to commit more terror. Do we need to see an endless loop of people jumping out of burning buildings to their death, is that really going to ‘stop the terrorists’ or just freak everyone out?
It’s important for a functioning democracy for the news to be able to the spread information, but shouldn’t they be held accountable for the themes and messages they choose to broadcast? If the news treats every crazy person like an anti-hero, it shouldn’t come as a surprise other crazy people are going to want to follow in their footsteps. Obviously calling the media terrorists is unfair, but don’t they share some of the responsibility for providing a platform spreading the message of terrorists?
It’s understandable a lot of people want to blame, hurt and kill people they think are trying to hurt them. Hurting those who hurt you as a solution quite literally only contributes to more people being hurt, furthering the destructive cycle. Violence as a solution is objectively terrible and only makes the problem worse for both parties. There are plenty of people that always have and always will want to hurt other people, but learning from history shows the solution isn’t hurting more people.
The news isn’t doing anyone any favors by inspiring fear and hatred in their discussion of fear and hatred. It’s pretty nonsensical that anyone would think you can stop people from hurting other people by hurting other people. That’s not to say that certain levels of boundaries and self-defense aren’t necessary, but only to a point because being reactionary and defensive never really solves the root issues.
When people internalize “___ (Jews, Muslims, immigrants) are holding down society and need to be murdered” or “the liberal media needs bombs mailed to their house” they’re not only undeniably wrong but mentally disturbed and in desperate need of help. People in power throughout history have never been willing to give up their power, but global access to information and communication has leveled the playing field in a massive way.
The solution to hatred isn’t fighting hatred with more hatred, it’s ignoring the hatred and focusing on what power you do have – to fix yourself and try to fix those around you. Nobody is going to solve lifetimes full of bitterness and hatred with one “we are the world” song, but if you can be an inspiration for others around you you’ll start moving the needle in the right direction. Miserable, suicidal, isolated people are so filled with suffering they want to end their suffering or worse share their pain with the world.
In a world where teenagers can make millions of dollars using a device they keep in their pocket, nobody has an excuse to say that “things are unfair” especially when compared to being thrown into a concentration camp for factors you can’t control. The competition may be stiff but the bigger the field and more players at play create more opportunities as well as more competition. There’s no reason to think that competition is a barrier to entry, just an increase in difficulty.
Hatred is so much easier and instantly gratifying instead of figuring out what you can do to solve your problems and change your situation. Things will never be completely fair, that’s a pipe dream. Fairness is an illusion for children, and blaming other people for problems you can solve yourself is a waste of your time and energy. If all of these deranged lunatics realized the solution their problems lied within bettering themselves instead of blaming others they’d have nothing to complain about and nobody to blame as well as be infinitely happier and more productive.
The internet provides unlimited access to knowledge and has given voice to more people than ever, partly why things may “seem” different now we’re learning more about topics never heard before like sexual abuse and police injustice. The internet gives everyone universal access to knowledge and communication if you want to spread your message or have a self-propelled career you can find one of many of thousands of revenue earning platforms with no barrier to entry.
Things aren’t equal, and there are millions of people suffering, homeless and in desperate need of help but the world never was and will never be fair. No matter how hard or miserable life can be, you have the power to choose how you perceive it – positive or negative. Don’t expect miracles, don’t expect endless joy, but take comfort in the fact that you have the power to make your life your own. Regardless of how horrible or sad it may seem, by taking ownership of your life: problems and successes, you will have the peace of mind in knowing that you have the power of choice and nobody controls your reactions but you.