Is society being deliberately distracted?

During this course we read and discussed Hannah More’s Village Politics. In this text, More writes about how the common people are not set to have a place in ruling in government. With the vast array of information that the internet and television brings to us now, the common people who before may have been deemed not informed enough to make political decisions can now have almost all information a click away. This sounds great! We have made so much progress to get to a point where information is made available to anyone that can access the internet. There is only one problem, the internet is filled with lots of information that can continue the trend of not having the common people be informed but get distracted instead.

One of the largest time wasters and distractions that can keep people “asleep” from what is going on in politics and the world is social media. People (myself included from time to time) can fall in the trap of staring at their phones or sitting at their computers looking at what people are doing on a day to day basis. With the internet people could be spreading ideas of life and of politics to make a difference in the world, but instead most get caught up in the trap of taking a picture of their lunch and putting it on Instagram. Sure, sometimes it is smart to take a break and be mindless from time to time, but to waste as much time as we do is not healthy.

Now comes the big question we have to ask; are all these distractions intentional? There are definitely very wealthy and powerful people out there that have political views that want to keep them in power and the common people below them working. I feel that social media is indeed keeping people distracted. Technology has now made humans more socially awkward than ever before. A lot of youth today only feel comfortable communicating through text or a chat rather than face to face. Technology can be used to bring people together easier but also cause people to not want to be as physically social. People will not be as likely to get together to discuss current events and have the free and open discussion that could make the world a better place. I believe that social media is a form of distraction thanks to one major clue, how much revenue that sites like Facebook and Twitter produce. The rich and powerful can continue what they always have done in history and that is to distract and keep the people ignorant and turn a profit off of them.

The citizens of the world need to wake up and get involved like Rousseau said, perhaps it should not be what they devote all their time and efforts to, but nevertheless, we need to make sure we are not going back to the dark ages. Make technology a power for the people, not weapon of the powerful!

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One Response to Is society being deliberately distracted?

  1. jlau4 says:

    Technology is a tool, and can be used to help or harm. I’m sure there are certain social media accounts and people who are trying to use it to distract people, but at the same time it can be used as a way to spread news and communicate with broader audiences. It all depends on who/what you decide to tune in to. Platforms such as YouTube and Facebook are great ways to have easy access to current events and video clips of big events going on around the world, but at the same time it is just as simple to watch cat and Netflix for hours at a time. Social Media is what you make of it, and just like any things in life there are plenty of distractions. We just need to develop a natural discipline to utilize social in the best way possible.

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