It is difficult to recall there being a time that news was delivered in such an upbeat way, when in reality the news isn't really that good. What is going on?
What is behind all this good news and feel good experience and at what cost does it come? And are we supposed to believe that below the veneer things might not be a rosy as they seem? Certainly the money making industries of advertising, promotions, trend analysis etc, lap it up. You get a short 'kick' and they get your data - you are the product, when it comes to free apps.
Despite these underlying trends, marketers, advertisers and sales executives have long since understood how to craft media and experiences in ways that delight us. They create an itch where there wasn't one, alter mindsets and feelings in ways that have us buy things in the moment that only days later we wonder how we could have agreed to that? And perhaps the aim wasn't to sell us a product. Perhaps it was a seductive and stimulating message that had a subliminal seed or two packaged in
Social media platforms have been designed with your emotions and instincts in mind. The so called 'race to the base of the neocortex' saw a flurry of customer experience and interactive design activity in Silicon Valley a few years ago, which are now the algorithms that drive the social system platforms and many peoples lives. A massive human experiment of sorts.
In the past there were politicians that could deliver good news or bad news through the same dead-pan expression, but today everything seems to come packaged in selfie smiles!
We are not trying to be kill-joy folks here. But we do wonder if all this good news and upbeat messaging has other purposes and might there be some negative side effects?
Perhaps, too much, positive news and stimulation comes at a cost:
- We lose relativity between good and bad news
- Our perspective about reality becomes distorted
- We are distracted away from the real issues
- We allow ourselves to be led, misled or stupefied
- More advertising and consumption
- Thinking life is always good
- Erodes our ability to handle bad news and regenerate resilience
- Thinking others are better off than us or we should be better off
- Fear of missing out on even better things, experiences and news
If you are inclined to think we might be on to something here, you might also be wondering what the antidote might be? Some habits to develop...
- Be up for reality and truth, seek it out and level with it
- Become more aware of ulterior motives. Speak up and out about that
- Build your observation and listening skills
- Talk to others and get second or third opinions (young people are very good at doing this now)
- Build your critical thinking skills - ask why, why, why? - get to the bottom of what the so called 'good news' is all about
- Call it out if it doesn't make sense
- Avoid platforms or situations where misinformation or news - too good to be true - exists.
Finding out what is true and real. Facing into that is tough work. But feeling as though you are being manipulated or lied to is probably going to be worse for your heath and will most likely be worse than we can imagine now, for our children or grandchildren.
This weeks quote
“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.”
― Abraham Lincoln
Please recommend the Transition Edge to others today.
Grant Symons - The Transition Guy