I am concerned that we are all infected with varying degrees of a dangerous virus.. The TWATTERGRAM virus has spread across the world at ‘warp’ speed. . People infected experience depleted, distorted and degraded information. This virus has set us up to be meme dependant.
Susceptibility to this virus has been cultivated by the repeated exposure to twitter and instagram and an acclimatisation to receiving information in tiny nibble portions.
We read a headline or a meme, or at most a paragraph and instantly draw conclusions. These conclusions,based on virtually zero information, generate fear and lead to behaviours based on irrational and unsupported conclusions.
And on top of that, we also pass on that headline, often without any preamble. Our exposure to endless information through social media has diminished our capacity to go deep to the truth and kept us skimming the illusory,slippery surface of reality.
I recently posted something on Facebook from my phone, which I rarely do,. It was a piece from the Mirror [tabloid UK newspaper], about Moscow-like winter weather hitting the UK for the next two months. I got twattered. I didn’t read it all. Most of the time, I read stuff before I put it out and in many cases I do further research.
I nearly always write something about what I post, often a comment plus a quote from the article, or my thoughts about it. I know a lotof people don’t read the whole thing and stop at the headline or the first paragraph. We are exposed to a lot of information and no one has the time to research all the stuff we come across.
Read Brodie – The Virus of the Mind for more.
This is common knowledge to marketers, and most marketing nowadays is based on language patterns of hypnosis installing carefully chosen sounds and images, well researched for specific emotive effect. It has been the basic tool of the media, politicians, PR folk, marketers and advertisers for years.
So, here’s the rub.
Given this knowing and the fact that we are all purveyors of information, might we now have two responsibilities. One is to check things for ourselves and build a form of psychic defence that allows us to stop forming any conclusions before we know more.. maybe a lot more… especially when it comes to headlines that are potentially viral. We have to learn to stay out of the trance.
In the same way that we smell food before we take it in, we have to be more aware and able to ‘smell out’ the information before it gets unconsciously incorporated into our beliefs.
We have to accept that we are susceptible to this virus and immunise ourselves as much as we can by doing due diligence.
And it would be cool to also recognise with compassion, that some folk are more susceptible to, or more deeply inflicted with, the virus and likely don’t go much further than headlines
We could say ‘buyer beware’ but if we are to move towards oneness as one of the goals of our life journey… then isn’t it also good karma for us to ask ‘who is vulnerable out there, who might draw the wrong conclusion and what might that be?. And am I right in presenting this?
I make mistakes and when I do, I’m good at learning from them, processing and finding a way to turn them around..often as a lesson..cos I’m a teacher in my bones.. [all teachers are rabid learners BTW].
One time in a workshop, I asked who was passionate about their work. I’d pick someone and then ask what they did. There was purpose to this, as I could then use what went on as a demo of how we access specific somatics when we’re ‘being truly ourselves’. But I digress.
One lady said ‘I remove unwanted entities from people’s homes’. I, too quick off the mark, sparked back Oh’ so you’re a Ghostbuster’. Her face fell, omigod. Instantly I got what I’d done and turned it around. ‘Did you see that I asked the group? Then I told them what I’d done, changing her words for what was precious to her to my words which happened to be words that she did not like. Thus my mistake became a lesson. ‘Use it all’ is my motto.
In the case of the weather post, I now see that the headline could make some folk believe it is relevant to the entire country. So had I read it first, which, as I said, I nearly always do, I might have not even posted it. It is quite normal to have arctic temperatures and moscow like weather in Scotland, which is what it refers to mostly if you read the article…
However, it is also great when I do something like this and other people respond, because I am always open to correction, opinions, etc..
And finally, even though we need to take care of others, it shouldn’t become a nanny thing. Compassion is best served with a dollop of awareness raising.
Memetics – “Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation”
Read Richard Dawkins and Robert Brodie for further information. I’ve just re-ordered The Virus of the Mind, secondhand. It was in my book collection.. and one of my faves
We can all participate in responsible meme propagation when we realise that what can be used for devious, selfish, evil purposes can also be used for the greater good..to promiote, awareness, upliftment, inspiration and hope. Still learning… still waking up.. a lifetime journey