In one screen cap, programmer Paul Haddad captured everything wrong with the United States’ news media – and all of us.
We don’t have a news media. We have a distraction media. But we only have this because the majority of us demand to have it. The majority of us demand to be distracted by a manufactured dream world rather than the hardships of reality.
We do this because being confronted with those hardships means that we might be called to action. Facing reality means that we might experience guilt for our inaction.
This kind of media only survives because the majority of us do not want to change the world. Not really.
Sure, we donate a few dollars to charity, but we want no active part in changing the world.
I wonder how many of us can even find Ukraine on a map.
The problem isn’t the media. The problem is us. Distraction media has taken over our lives because we have let it. We value celebrities, athletes and actors more than teachers, scientists, philosophers and philanthropists. We like living vicariously through other people’s ups and downs – and oh how love to celebrate people’s failures.
How odd is it in a country, where most people identify themselves as Christian, we are enraptured with money and revel in the downfall of others. I believe this is what is called “greed” and “spite.”
And the idea of distraction is what is called “sloth.”
(I’m not preaching here – just drawing some parallels.)
Whatever your beliefs, we have to stop this love of distraction. We have to stop this desire to not act. Yes, I know that we cannot end poverty, war, hunger etc… Sadly, these things will always exist. But we can make a difference in the world. That doesn’t mean that you have to run and join the Peace Corps – in fact, it’s often the small steps that travel that farthest.
Knowledge is power. So strive to stay informed. Learn about current events and the history that influences them. Don’t get all of your news from one place or one type of source. Branch out. Start discussions with people. Listen to opposing points of view.
Knowledge leads to action and action leads to change. We need to end this cycle of distraction and become a country of knowledge.