Posted by: kathandroger | October 14, 2019

10 years on (continued…)

I started reflecting a couple of weeks ago on the way things have changed (or not) in our lives in the 10 years since I began this blog. When I first started thinking I wasn’t sure that so much had altered, but the more I reflect there are some areas that are unrecognisable. I’m going to steer clear of the world of politics, suffice it to say that the days of Obama, Brown and Lula (with all their faults) seem light years from Trump, Johnson and Bolsonara (none of whom have any faults, apparently…).

The world of social media has been transformed, and has in turn transformed many aspects of our society and the way we behave. Ten years ago some of us had a vague idea of Facebook and we’d started to reach out to long lost friends around the world. Twitter was in its infancy and Instagram hadn’t even been launched. No doubt that the benefits of being able to connect in a way previously unimaginable has been hugely positive. However, the decision to keep these various platforms free to the user has led to some, at best irritating, and at worst scary, practices around data gathering. The disastrous consequences have already been witnessed with various elections and ‘B-you-know-what’, as well as the feeling that our every move, preference and desire is being tracked and logged.  The need for ‘likes’ and the penchant for showing off on line brings with it a somewhat narcissistic influence on society.

Something slightly less tangible, but inevitably connected to the above, is the way in which the concepts of truth and trust have evolved in the past decade. Ten years ago I tended to believe quite a lot of what I read in journals and papers (maybe not always in the tabloids I guess), I generally listened to and accepted the views of experts and had a certain level of trust in some of those who governed us. Today I am pretty sceptical about virtually everything. I am cautious even of the mainstream media, shy away from social media and believe pretty much nothing our politicians say. What a sad state of affairs. The fact that our leaders are narcissistic, compulsive liars doesn’t help, but the ease with which people can make up total lies (or fake news, another recent invention) and circulate them around the world without batting an eyelid, the facility to change images and the desire to deceive without any morals or scruples has totally altered the relationship between those in power (social and commercial as well as political) and the rest of us. When we can no longer use facts to guide us, because we don’t trust them, our decision making can only be driven by emotions. That’s when we become easily manipulated and that’s a dangerous game that some play very well. 2009 really does seem a different world.


Responses

  1. One good thing that might have come out of the disaster that is Brexit is that we now know a good deal more about our politicians and the system. What a self serving bunch of lying, devious tossers they are.
    I will not forget that image of Rees Mogg reclining on the bench when issues that affect all our futures were being debated. The arrogant disregard of the rich elite for the lives of ordinary people had not been quite so clear to me before.


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