Seriously, does anybody have a clue what the hell is going on in the world? Can someone please explain to me the cluster-f**k that has been 2020? Being alive is confusing enough, but man, this year has added on unprecedented levels of uncertainty.
Somehow, I’ve been feeling both lost and trapped at the same time, which is contributing to my confusion. There’s all the usual trappings like work and the responsibilities that come with being an adult, but confinement and social isolation has exacerbated the feeling of imprisonment. Living this way seems to have burrowed me deeper within my own mind which, in turn, tends to isolate me further from the rest of society, leaving me in a cycle of masochistic bewilderment.
The outlook for escape is bleak at the moment.
Then there’s the sensation of being lost which stems from all the conflicting messages fed to us through various forms of media. The news outlets are obviously biased (all of them) and obsessed with painting a picture of doom. It’s like pornography for outrage, violence, and destruction.
Social media is rampant with fake news, straw man arguments, conspiracy theories that can make your head spin, and petty, meaningless vendettas. People, at least the ones I follow, seem to eat it all up and regurgitate the same information, careful to stay loyal to a specific ideology without saying anything new; incapable of formulating a thought of their own.
Everybody has an opinion and something to say, but I get the feeling no one really knows what they’re talking about (myself included).
I hate to say it but, most of the time, it is obvious they don’t.
I’m lost (not unusual but for different reasons this time around) because I don’t know how to make sense of it. With all the information being shoved in my face it has become difficult to know what’s true and what’s false. Even the statistics we’re exposed to can be manipulated. How can anyone who doesn’t study a specific topic professionally ever have any hope of knowing what’s factual? All we have is the word of people who provide the content. We have to assume they’re being honest with us, but I’ll ask, how do we know if we’re being lied to? Manipulated?
They (insert form of media here) often tell us what to think in a condescending tone and if we don’t align with what they say, we become the enemy. It’s a way to control us and our allegiance, compelling our obedience by threatening our intelligence, identity, and kinship with others. The division in our country can be used as evidence of this.
It has become easy to lose the self in the brainwashing minutia they put out there.
Perhaps what is worse, it has made me evaluate people differently. I now apply oversimplified and biased identity assignments formulated by unfair generalizations and stereotypes—I don’t see a person anymore, just a member of groups I don’t belong too.
A form of tribalism.
It also doesn’t help that our leaders, regardless of party lines, are sending mixed signals when it comes to combating COVID-19 (some are worse than others) and pretty much everything else. Many use divisive language (again, some worse than others) to coerce our loyalty with hypocritical idealism, sticking to their broad, unsubstantiated, substance-less and merit-less rhetoric. Their words are empty, fabricated by the popular opinions of their bases.
The Point Is…
The point is, does anyone really know what’s going on? Do you actually have any idea what you’re talking about?
All the opinions out there seem to be composed of a devotion to a certain identity. The ego—for you psychology majors out there—is a major part of our personalities that is responsible for solidifying ignorance within individuals. When we hear something that aligns with our point of view, we are apt to agree with it. If we hear something that goes against our beliefs, then we are likely to discredit it as false information.
Everything is confusing because we’re over-exposed to an excessive amount of information which we cannot personally fact-check. We’re constantly presented with data contradictory to how we view the world. Our brains were not designed for this kind of stimulation and is why it’s easy for the “left” to subscribe to their way of thinking and the “right” to do the same. Toss in inconsistency from the top-down, and we get what is essentially a circus of misinformed idealism. Both sides think they have the right answers, but I think the truth lies between and all around them (think the lines of a Venn Diagram).
The world could be less confusing if we weren’t as susceptible to accepting, then spreading, false information simply because it lines up with our perspectives. We need to question everything we hear, see, and most importantly, feel. It would also help if we held our leaders and the media accountable when they are being hypocrites, choosing sides, or misrepresenting the truth. How to do that is a whole ‘nother question.
Another solution is to limit exposure to too much info. I’m not sure how to do it effectively and still be open-minded, but I think it’s about maintaining balance in our intake and accept that we cannot know everything—don’t speak on things we don’t understand fully unless it is to gather new perspectives.
Before you go!
What do you think? Are you confused by current events too? Or am I full of it? Please let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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