Anybody who thinks that we live in a society where we enjoy freedom of choice – or for that matter, anyone who believes that our thoughts are our own – hasn’t really been paying attention. The masses have always been manipulated, but modern technology has made the practice even easier and more insidious. The Internet, for example, has changed our lives in many ways, both good and bad. The same can be said of social media, which, though lauded by millions all over the world, is actually a tool of the New World Order, as noted a few years ago by Andrew Steele. Steele wrote that Facebook has altered society’s collective mind, and that is no exaggeration. This alteration is particularly apparent in young people, and it’s no wonder; a recent UK study found that more than half of all children have used an online social media site by the age of 10. Here are five reasons why social media are able to exert such control over the minds of our emerging generation.
1. Ease of access. Social media are everywhere, and with more and more social media apps becoming available on every sort of device from laptops to smartphones to tablets, it’s never been easier for young people to access social media sites. Since all too many parents succumb to consumerist pressures to equip their kids with the latest electronic gadgets and gizmos, those in control know they have a ready audience.
2. Lack of parental control. Parents are always a few steps behind their kids, and when advanced technology and constant innovation are combined with traditional youthful rebelliousness, it’s easy to see how social media can slip out-of-control. As many of today’s parents have taken to Facebook in a big way, viewing it as a way to keep the family connected, their teens (and sometimes their younger kids) have retreated in horror. They don’t want their parents to see their “private” posts and pics – which, curiously, they’re all too willing to share with the rest of the world. Kids are flocking to sites such as WhatsApp and SnapChat to get away from parental “intrusion.” And although many parents care very much about their children’s online activities, it is becoming more difficult to control these activities, particularly since the kids are often so much more technologically adept than their parents.
3. Unrelenting pressure (peer and otherwise) to conform. Young people are under constant pressure to conform to whatever their peers have deemed to be fashionable. This has always been the case, but the social media revolution has taken peer pressure to potentially dangerous new levels. (Ironically, young people using social media are particularly vulnerable to peer pressure to engage in anti-social behavior such as bullying.) Through social media, young people are under continual pressure to engage in behavior that serves the agendas not only of predatory marketers but also of the elite who are really in control. Although kids may think they are expressing their own individuality, they are actually being cleverly manipulated.
4. Disappearing boundaries. Despite special laws and regulations to protect the privacy of minors, social media are unrelenting in their efforts to make the private public. Young people are certainly not immune to the constant pressure to join online networks, and to share every detail of their lives with the world (excluding their parents, of course). Those in control are only too happy for the youngsters – and the rest of us as well – to make our lives an open book.
5. The creation of new norms. This is a net result of the four factors listed above. Social media’s omnipresence, constant and uncontrollable morphing, encouragement of conformity, and relentless efforts to erase the boundary between private and public life are creating an entirely “new normal” for childhood – and indeed for society at large. Increasingly, to not be almost constantly plugged into some sort of social media site is to be abnormal. Those in control of social media are very aware of this and are deliberately targeting young minds, which are far more malleable than the minds of older users.
Andrew Steele described Facebook as “a Pied Piper leading the march of the damned, dancing the world into the shackles of slavery…all to the beat of the New World Order’s drum.” Perhaps you are tempted to think he was overstating. But anyone who is concerned about the direction society seems to be heading would be wise to err on the side of caution, and do his or her part to help rein in the social media monster. We all need to be more vigilant and aware. Now, more than ever, parents need to teach their children that there is more to life than social media.
About the Author:
Daphne Holmes contributed this guest post. She is a writer from www.arrestrecords.com and you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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