Could Social Media And The News Cost You Your Dreams?

Horizons nothing-to-see-here-phil-koch

“Do you think you have an accurate view of the world today? What is your place in the world? Are you able to easily make your dreams come true? What do you think?  Would you like to conduct a little experiment, some investigative research, on your own for a few days.

I’ll keep publishing blogs while you do, but I wanted to invite you, give your the opportunity, to examine something for yourself. If you are game, I hope you will have a go at it.

First things first. Napoleon Hill and Andrew Carnegie, among others,  were big proponents of accurate thinking. Unfortunately, most people are prone to gossip, media distraction, rumor and being a bit too gullible at times. They are easily lead astray. Do you think you are?

Without vetting the sources, the reports and the stories,  people erroneously believe or accept the ‘news’ or information they pay attention to. Then they pass that information along. Much is not accurate. Some is downright deceptive and manipulative.

However, most people don’t even not know this because they don’t bother to check. They accept it without much question. Not that long ago people used to get their news either in the morning, evening or prior to bed.

Now we are exposed to it 24 hours seven days a week without end. You can’t escape it if you use the internet.

Hill encouraged  readers to put their mental faculties to good use. He urged readers to insist on accurate, reliable information that was reported honestly. That way, when the time came, and if need be, they could make a well-informed decision.

Then they could  act or move forward productively based on it. You want reliable information when making important decisions, don’t you? Today, we have tremendous access to all kinds of information. Quantity is high, but what about the quality? Is it reliable and accurate? I will go further and ask, is it even truthful?

Hill boiled accurate thinking down to two important practices:

1.  Separate facts from opinions, fictions, unproved hypotheses, and hearsay.

2. Separate facts into two categories: important and unimportant.

He postulated, and I would agree, that few people do either of these. The first one takes effort. We have footwork to do. We must not just passively accept media messages as true. They might be but they might not be. Be vigilant. Test! Don’t blindly accept things.

I would add that more people today get caught up in the unimportant. They aren’t good at separating the two. People are distracted from what is relevant and important. Social media is a major time and attention suck.

We’re bombarded by juicy bits and distracted most of the time.

Here is a thought experiment you can conduct on your own. Go through headlines for the past 30, 50 or 100 years. Examine them Compare and contrast. Use any and all media; it can be newspaper, magazines, television , and the internet.

Notice whether the stories have changed much at all? The details will differ. For example, there are different wars, different celebrities. That is a given.

Note which themes reoccur? How frequently do the same issues arise? What does media keep the public focused on continuously? You may be surprised by what you discover.

It is true, players, come and go, parties change, events occur but notice whether the topics or themes ever change, or change much? What does media keep us paying attention to? Why might they do do this? Whose interests does it serve? What are we distracted for?

See if you detect patterns. What do you think you will find? I’m sure you already have thoughts about the media, news and reporting in general. Are we discussing anything really new or is a lot of it the same? Feel free to  post you discoveries in the comments.

Tell me, and others, what you find. We can discuss accurate thinking and your discoveries again in another blog post down the road a bit. First, do some investigative checking. And, as always, be grateful and celebrate everything!” Rex Sikes

Have a wonderful day!

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Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.

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