Social Media: The Driving Force of Misinformation and Lies

Social Media: The Driving Force of Misinformation and Lies September 17, 2020

The Social Dilemma, like most film documentaries which talk about the evils of social media, will make you want to delete all your social media accounts. This is an important documentary you’ll want to watch – hopefully soon, before you cast your votes in the coming elections.

Social media can make us feel as though we are living in thought bubbles, by feeding us with misinformation, and isolating us from the truth. / Image by Lars Nissen from Pixabay

It features, among several key players in the industry:

Here’s The Social Dilemma trailer

My Takeaway

The key point I wanted to highlight is what these insiders confirm, which is, how well-designed social media platforms are in manipulating how you think. Their mission is to learn everything about us; then stereotype us into groups that share similar interests; and then spoon feed us the information they want us to see to influence our decisions.

What makes them particularly destructive RIGHT NOW as America approaches the elections is their profiteering in false information. They have become, THE driving force of disinformation and spread of lies across the globe.

While the truth is always available to those willing to do research, social media platforms literally possess the power to isolate individuals and groups within an information bubble of their own design. Ever wonder why nobody understands what’s happening except you and the people in your social network? It’s because specially designed algorithms channel specific content and news to you.

This means that these sites can create the illusion that every member of every political party / cause / special interest group / social movement / hate group / protestor / conspiracy theorist / terrorist organization / and even certain segments of entire countries believes they alone possess the truth. They don’t. It only seems this way because the information in their feeds is being controlled to validate their ideologies or interests.

There is a phenomenal amount of good which social networks are performing. But they could also be one of the best agencies to affect positive changes in our world if they chose a more humane business model. My hope, at the very least, is that people recognize that their favorite social media sites are not a reliable and trustworthy source for news.

About Scott R Stahlecker
Scott R. Stahlecker is the author of the novel "Blind Guides, “Picking Wings Off Butterflies,” and “How to Escape Religion Guilt Free.” He is a former pastor and previous owner of several hospice agencies. “I’ve spent roughly thirty years as a freethinker. In that time have noticed that there’s few non-religious websites that offer optimistic discussions about the benefits of free thought or insights on developing freethinking skills. Which is what Thinkadelics is all about; covering newsworthy posts to in-depth features, which best articulates the joys of being a freethinker.” You can read more about the author here.

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8 responses to “Social Media: The Driving Force of Misinformation and Lies”

  1. Back in the 1990s when everyone was in chat rooms on AOL, I saw the types of information that got passed around and saw the feuds erupt. Then came Facebook, and I stayed away because the same thing happened. Facebook just does a better job of tailoring what kinds of information you see than the old AOL chat rooms, where you had to seek them out for yourself. Now there’s Instagram and all the others, and mostly what I’ve seen when I’ve peeked in is people putting up false fronts to try to impress a bunch of strangers, and people trying to sell things to people. It’s all so soulless.

  2. Like it or not, these social media platforms are here to stay. And I wonder how they will affect how we evolve? It’s easy to see the ill effects, because it’s easy to notice how it’s changing us and society in realtime. Tough to know in the long run though about the future changes.

    I like your phrase, “better thoughts, better reality.” No woo woo there. Using meditation for that purpose is like throwing a positive attitude into overdrive. Also reminds me of a new form of meditation I’ve heard called, hypnotic meditation. But I think this is just a term to describe one way we can use meditation. That focus on the positive etc.,

    I tend to change the focus of my meditation often. I always begin with breathing in that it helps to bring clarity and focus, but then I alter things by changing what I want to focus on. For me, focusing on my “thought worms” is like meditative daydreaming. But it also helps me to understand the way my mind connects information, and how that information affects me as well as my concepts about life.

  3. The term “mindfulness” gets thrown around a lot and (IMO) misused. The way I use it (and try to live it) is to focus on the reason why you’re doing or saying something. IMO (again), social media and cellphones introduce a lot of mindlessness. I am certainly not innocent of mindlessness and it’s just too easy to fall into those habits.

    That’s an interesting concept: meditative daydreaming. Sometimes I’ll go in that direction and other times, I’ll take a few moments and think about what’s on my mind. Sometimes it’s exhaustion, and I’ll sit with why I’m pushing myself beyond my limits. Sometimes it’s anxiety, and I’ll sit with the idea of things I can change and things I can’t. Sometimes it’s something someone’s said, and I’ll sit with why that particular thing resonated with me and how it relates to my life.

    I’ll be honest; if I am tired and go on a thought-worm expedition, I might just drift off into sleep. Working on that, too, and pleased to have the example you show of sitting with it.

  4. I do that as well, focus on particular things that are on my mind. When I focus on particular things that are troubling me, those troubles are eased. Or when I focus on certain memories or emotions, the impact they have in my life is softened a bit. You mentioned, “Sometimes it’s anxiety, and I’ll sit with the idea of things I can change and things I can’t.” This is where I think the concept of “impermanence” comes into play. Politics right now is on everyone’s mind, and it aggravates that crap out of me, but knowing that life is going to follow its own path, and that there’s little I can do about it, eases that anxiety.

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