I read George Orwell’s 1984 when I was a freshman in college taking an introductory Philosophy and Literature class. Needless to say, I was amazed at the amount of control society had over its citizens, what with the two minutes hate and the Thought Police constantly monitoring everyone. His tragic depiction of what the world would be like without the ability to think freely is disturbing, yet we see it all around us…we just don’t recognize it yet.
Fast forward to present day, and it seems like thought restriction and regulation could not possibly exist–we have the media after all, and don’t forget Google, which allows us to research whatever our pretty little hearts desire. With such a free and open society, one where you can question everything and speak your mind, how can we be monitored? How can we be guided like sheep?
The answer is easy, you watch it every day, scroll through endless amounts of posts and pictures, and feel like you have to constantly be a part of it or you’ll lose touch: social media.
Have you looked at your news feed lately? When was the last time you saw something positive on the news? When was the last time you saw something that didn’t instill some sort of fear, or malice, or envy, or anger in you? I’d say, since I started watching the news regularly and since I became a part of social media, there hasn’t been a single day when I wasn’t bombarded with a myriad of negativity.
We may not live in a world where we are not allowed to think period, but we do live in a world where the media dictates our moods, thoughts, and sometimes even actions. By constantly showing us fearful and sad images and news, the media is manipulating us to watch certain programs and think a certain way.
This only intensifies with all the fake news outlets that are out there. Because we are led to believe that almost everything we see on the internet is true, we fall into traps of falsehoods that often end up in pitting us against our loved ones, or following along with certain political agendas. Even real news from seemingly credible news sources are out to manipulate you with their own biases, and will neglect to give full details in stories if they do not coincide with the viewpoint of whoever owns the news station. (BREAKING NEWS: There’s only about five or six mega corporations that own the media, according to Business Insider).
We are in an era that may not have a “two minutes hate,” but we have a 24 hour a day hate perpetuated by the media blasting us with negative news, and people blasting us with negative posts. Add the fact that the media sources are constantly watching you to see what you are reading, watching, and sharing, all so that they can continue the manipulation, and you’ve got a bonafide 1984 sequel on your hands.
Be careful my friends, because Big Brother is always watching.