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We+spend+a+lot+of+time+online+and+on+social+media%2C+but+that+gives+us+ample+time+to+be+influenced+by+thoughtless+theories+and+opinions.+%0A%0AImage+courtesy+of+CanStockPhoto+%28https%3A%2F%2Fwww.canstockphoto.com%29
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We spend a lot of time online and on social media, but that gives us ample time to be influenced by thoughtless theories and opinions. 

Image courtesy of CanStockPhoto (https://www.canstockphoto.com)

We spend a lot of time online and on social media, but that gives us ample time to be influenced by thoughtless theories and opinions. Image courtesy of CanStockPhoto (https://www.canstockphoto.com)

We spend a lot of time online and on social media, but that gives us ample time to be influenced by thoughtless theories and opinions. Image courtesy of CanStockPhoto (https://www.canstockphoto.com)

We spend a lot of time online and on social media, but that gives us ample time to be influenced by thoughtless theories and opinions. Image courtesy of CanStockPhoto (https://www.canstockphoto.com)

Sai Rajeev Devaragudi, Lode Writer

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Sometimes I feel that the world is moving backward. Maybe it’s just a notion in my head because the world is not moving forward at all. Sure, we are not the same as we were 10 or 15 years back, but did it do any good? Technology is a big part of our lives now. We depend on it more than ever. But what good is it actually doing? What percentage of the people are actually using it for improving themselves or the lives of the people around us? Don’t get me wrong, I am not some old brat ranting about how hard my phone is to use. I am just trying to spur a thought as to how the world is not moving forward despite having all the tools at our disposal.

There was a time when people would respect the brave and intelligent. We do respect the brave still, but intelligence is way out of the picture. I mean the leader of this country is a racist bigot who publicly declared his sexual feelings for his daughter. You see, the same position has been held by leaders who abolished slavery, helped end the Second World War or tore down the Berlin wall. Those people had the intelligence and capability to accomplish such feats and democracy was smart enough to elect such people. With the advent of technology and everything along with it, people should have collectively become more knowledgeable and insightful. People should be able to understand today’s issues and analyze if the proposed solution is feasible or not. But that is not the case.

In 2019, we are still debating if global warming is real or not, we think arming teachers and training them is the solution to prevent mass shootings in schools and there are people who think we need s space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces intended to have control over military operations in outer space. Any reasonable person can understand how such Ponzi schemes can be used to divert taxpayer’s money into such nonsensical and nonexistent issues. But we are past that now. Half the country supports this scheme and thinks we need a space force to find out what’s out there in outer space because NASA is a bunch of losers.

There was a time when great leaders were made due to their excellent ability to analyze a problem and to come up with a solution and also effectively communicating it to the people. There are great leaders and fallen leaders. One main factor which varied among these men and women was their skills of oration. Visionaries like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill or even Steve Jobs, all had one great skill in common which was oration.

All these people have delivered such revolutionary speeches at such vital points in history that have had huge impacts on our daily lives. An impact which drove the people towards the vision which these great people had. JFK presented honorary citizenship to Winston Churchill and said that he had mobilized the English language and sent it into battle. Such great oratory skills were appreciated by the people as they clearly communicated the message and the vision of these true leaders.

But as times passed, technology and social media have dumbed down people to such a great extent that we have a president who cannot even spell global warming on his iPhone. The time people spend on social media presented a glorious opportunity to exploit the people and brainwash their ideas and principles. Analytics-based companies studied data and social media presence to launch a targeted manipulation attack and brainwash people through memes, gifs, fake allegations, and polarized news reporting.

This has been so effective that billions of dollars were invested in such methods and has had the capability of influencing a country’s election. 68 percent of Americans still get their news via social media and are still exposed to such polarized content. Such moderated content not only changes the results of elections but also brings back issues which were considered already solved. Be it slavery or racism or gender discrimination, social media has the capability to instill such prejudiced ideas among people.

Regulations could be passed to curb such activities, but why would politicians do such a thing since it reduces their chances of winning the next election? These are the same people which abolished the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, a policy requiring television and radio broadcasters to present contrasting viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance, which also led to the birth of polarized news channels such as Fox News. Such a thing would require the people to think and form their own opinion and that is far less convenient than brainwashing and hence the law was abolished.

The government is hell-bent on exploiting technology and misusing it for their own benefit. People need to realize such things and use technology appropriately to improve their intellect rather than dumbing down.

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