More and more of my clients express increased anxiety, confusion and fear. Let's be real, how could they not? Yet, perhaps the culprit is not as it seems.
The old road is rapidly changing and now in a digital age the usual suspects aren't alone. In fact, the algorithms have company in no small number. Nations and non-nation states are amplifying fear mongering and hate mongering content. This rabbit hole goes extremely deep but it isn't within the scope of this article. However, its necessary to understand the web of influence in our lives on a daily bases regardless of how long we spend on social media.
Media influence: Follow the dollar
People often forget the economics of mainstream media. Media
companies, whether CNN or Fox News, make money on advertisements. Advertisements are driven by engagement. This may seem obvious but when you plug in the billions of dollars spent by bad actors to influence public opinion the picture becomes frightening. Has social media created heightened stress levels in your life? Have you noticed a more polarized environment in your day to day interactions? In the news? The media? Here's why.
According teo Carnegie Melon University, more than 50% of twitter accounts discussing reopening America may be bots. Yup. You heard that right. That is not simple.
In an article published on May 20, 2020 on their website, the University explains:
...CMU researchers since January have collected more than 200 million tweets discussing coronavirus or COVID-19. Of the top 50 influential retweeters, 82% are bots, they found. Of the top 1,000 retweeters, 62% are bots.
That’s a lot of tweets. Out of 200 million discussing coronavirus or COVID-19, 41 out of 50 of the “top retweeters” were bots. Not real people. 620 out of the to 1,000….bots.
This translates into more objective truth which is often boring generating a fraction of the views and shares and retweets as content or news that generates fear, hatred, bigotry, and most importantly, polarization.
The new frontlines of a global information war
Richard Stengel, former Undersecretary during the Obama Administration, in his book Information Wars, explains that both China and Russia spend upward of a billion dollars each on information warfare. I once mentioned "fake news" on a zoom and a close relative left the meeting. They were triggered because the term "fake news" has been, at least in her internet filter bubble, been largely associated with President Trump. Thus, it is worth noting that Richard Stengel who was the former editor at TIME Magazine worked closely directly under the Secretary of State during the Obama Administration, John Kerry.
When you pick up your phone to check facebook, twitter and other social media platforms, you're entering the new frontline of a global battlefield for your opinion and consent whether you choose to believe it or not. If you don't believe me, go do the research but you can't ignore this world war for public opinion today. Even if you're not on social media, nearly all of your neighbors and fellow citizens are. You're inevitably caught in the currents of these giant national currents.
The world is changing. Are you?
How can we as humans begin to delve more deeply into our inner soul to take control of our emotions and direction? This is far too complicated to answer in a blog post. However, our approach is multifaceted and focuses on building your knowledge of your internal selfie. There are endless forces trying to pull us away from our own thoughts and it is difficult to cut through the noise.
However, if one delves into the depths of their inner workings they can begin to build from within and then strengthen and fortify the walls of consciousness. Your true and authentic self never came easy or naturally. We're simply not wired that way. We are wired in a way which requires us to work for clarity. This is only exasperated by the constant bombardment and attempts at mass population mind control.
What we can do about chaos
I'm a fan of some forms of mediation but am not advocating that here. I'm a
fan of mental health professionals, especially when it comes to acute pathology, but that is also not what we're discussing nor what we do. Our approach to building oneself is based in the timeless wisdom of our Torah. Unlike many sciences, it focuses not just on the body, neurological and physiological wirings, and subconscious drives, but it also incorporates the world beyond. Your body-soul dynamic. Your existence in the context of the universe. Your relationship and responsibility to humanity, your neighbors and even the planet earth. Your relationship to yourself and those who are most important to you.
I'm constantly inspired by my clients determination to learn and to grow. Many are high performers and some of the largest companies in the world. Many live less intense and glamorous lives, but nonetheless are no less important. Every person is entire world and deserves and requires personalized and tailored Torah wisdom to help catalyze and actualize their true and authentic self.