White Noise: The Repercussions of a World Without Boundaries
Brenden M. Dilley
I can’t shock you anymore. I might be able to give you pause but even that won’t last more than a few seconds. The advice is still relevant. The message is still aggressive. The truth still rings true to you. The problem is that nothing surprises you anymore. Nothing. School shootings? Terrible, yes. Shocking? No. Celebrity pedophiles? Disgusting, yes. Shocking? No. Government scandal? Disheartening, yes. Shocking? No. The information whizzes through our conscience so quickly that our ability to discern bullshit that isn’t worth our attention from legitimately worthwhile concerns is muddled to the point of madness.
JayZ cheating on Beyonce now warrants a larger outcry than voter fraud and voter disenfranchisement. “Lemonade dropped? Oh shit! I gotta peep that!” quickly dwarfs “So they’re fixing the election so Hillary Clinton wins no matter how the people vote? Meh.” We live in a time when morons become famous for being scumbags (looking at you Rachel Roy) and victims of violence are faceless, nameless “headlines” who are forgotten after a few days.
Don’t worry, I’m not shocked anymore either. I’ll be honest, I can’t even remember what was the most recent “terror attack” or where the last “school shooting” occurred. There are too many to keep up with. I’m not even scared of these events anymore. In some really weird and twisted way I’ve accepted them as part of daily living in 2016… and that is beyond disturbing. The appropriate response to children being slain at a place that’s supposed to be safe shouldn’t be “that sucks” but that’s what’s happened. We’re overstimulated, over-engaged, desensitized to our humanity and obsessed with our own self-absorbed outcomes.
I don’t want to live this way. I love the internet because of it’s ability to connect all of us and allow for ideas to be shared globally. Having the opportunity to give relationship advise to a nineteen year old in Ghana in one moment and encouragement to a recovering addict in Toronto the next moment, never ceases to amaze me. Our global community is now a “tweet” away. Yet, the majority of the world aren’t using our ability to connect for these reasons. We’ve got a media that has grown into glorified ambulance chasers whom not only “report” the news but inject themselves into the news, often creating narratives based on their own agenda rather than reality. This behavior trickles down to our youth who now scream “WORLDSTAR!” as a young woman gets beat by five of her fellow classmates, rather than breaking up the lopsided scrum.
What can you do? How do we take back our humanity and reprogram our brains? You can start by saying no to the bullshit. Become aggressively ambivalent to the assault on your critical mind. They aren’t going to stop feeding you terrible headlines until you stop responding to them all together. You don’t want kids killing one another on video for “views”? Stop watching the videos once they’re posted. You want the media to stop shaping the narrative for pretty much everything in your life? Stop watching their bullshit programs and parroting their talking points without having done your own objective research. In 2016 your attention = dollars. They no longer get paid for selling products, services or value. They get paid to hold your attention.
I’m not 100% sure this will work but at least it’s a start. It feels a little bit like we’ve opened Pandora’s Box and there is no going back. We’ve seen too much, survived too much and thanks to the indentured servitude that most of the world calls a “life”, spent too much time, money and resources on things that do not matter. We’ve collectively lost our humanity, dignity and sense of self. We must get protective of our critical mind. We must become gate keepers to our subconscious. With each click, tweet, like and share we program one another with either toxic nonsense or value driven enrichment. Control your own mind, be cognizant of your neighbors mind and perhaps in time we can turn this ship around.