How Technology Has Stopped Humans From Being Independent Thinkers
Humans Rely Too Much on Technology.
Oh YouTube, how do I love thee. Definitely my favorite go to place to learn about skincare and the latest makeup trends and products. During the lock down, my attention was mostly focused on Netflix and Prime Video instead of my YouTube weekly fix. Now that in my country the lock down is almost at an end, and life is beginning to go back to normal, I went to my usual Beauty Gurus to see what’s hot and what’s not. I was hoping to learn about the latest drugstore beauty product that is performing like a high end brand that I just have to have. But instead, I found my favorite beauty guru in tears and breaking her silence. Being in a certain chapter of my life, I’m really quite fed up with drama. I avoid it at all cost. So imagine how shocked I was when instead of learning about the best beauty bargains, and how to blend eye shadow when you’re over 30,I was caught of guard and saw a 40 minute video being presented to me about all the drama in her life. I didn’t watch it since to be honest I didn’t want to get sucked into 40 minutes of he said she said, but also, I’d rather spend that time watching House on Prime Video. I was still curious as to why that video was so lengthy, what possible tea needed to be spilled in the course of over half an hour. So I went online and found articles summarizing the video. This 40 minute silence breaking video is actually about a previous video which the same beauty guru made when she was calling out another beauty guru. The difference is in this new video, she informed her audience that she was “manipulated” to make the previous video.
This made me think, since when is being “manipulated” a new thing? Manipulation has been going on since the days of Adam and Eve (Hello Mr. Snake….why yes, I will eat that Apple, thank you). Manipulation, backstabbing, taxes, and prostitution are the few traits that humanity can trace back to the beginning of time and exists in every culture, race, and country. After reading about the contents of the video, I began to think just how easy it is nowadays for anyone to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. Let’s call a Spade, a Spade shall we? That beauty guru made the “Bye” video on her own volition. Nobody put a gun to her head, nobody held her or her family hostage. She had time to review facts, thought about it, recorded it, and edited it. This project was done with intent. So for the beauty guru to all of the sudden make another video claiming manipulation is laughable to me. How many of us, go through manipulation on a daily basis for every single choices that we have to make just to get through the day? The makeup counter girl who swears to us that green really brings out your eyes and is the hottest color for Spring when in fact it made us look like we have a mold on top of our eyelids. Or a team member at work who says to us “Can you do the weekly report, you’re just so good at it and much better than I am. Besides, the boss always loves it when you write them” when in fact it was that team member’s responsibility to write and submit those weekly reports. So no, you can’t make a video on YouTube calling out someone, cancelling them, saying bye, and then a few months down the line say you were “manipulated” into doing it.
The same goes for everything in life and on a larger scale. In the last US Presidential election, there have been many speculations as to why the candidate who won actually ended up winning. Advertisement on social media was cited as one of the reason for the victory and this was somehow abnormal. This caused many social media platforms to re-examine their policy on advertisement. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of free speech and advertisement? The purpose of advertisements is to sway its audience to purchase a product and to change their behavior. From where I’m standing, the ads did what they were suppose to do and aren’t to blame. If that was the case, why don’t we reexamine why skin care products that promise supple and firmer skin in 3 weeks aren’t being re-examined on their advertisement when they don’t deliver? Basically the same thing right? Presenting to its audience a perception of how a product is, as oppose to what it really is. It’s the viewers who should have done their due diligence and fact checking and not take things at face value. Isn’t that the main purpose of critical thinking? Is this information correct and recent? Is it coming from a reputable source? it this fact or fiction?
The majority of people today seem to have forgotten that credible news sources are there for a reason. If there is too many “fake news” from “mainstream media” then maybe opt for less traditional sources and go to more niche ones such as “The Economist” or “The Wall Street Journal”, “Foreign Policy” and even some local newspapers that have been tried and tested for decades which ranges from “Le Monde”, “Reuters”, and “Agence France Press”. These are reputable news sources which have stood the test of time and are not going anywhere anytime soon. So when in doubt, it is our personal responsibility to seek out reputable sources on an issue that we care about and not just tap our whats app or Instagram icons and believe what ever is being informed there.
The advancement of technology and the ease of access to information was aimed to make us smarter, not dumber and more naive. Technology was intended to help us complete tasks faster, find information more efficiently. It was not meant to replace our brains from thinking or us from being critical thinkers. We weren’t suppose to read a news item from an obscure website then spread it to everyone we know like it was the Gospel.
No matter how advance technology gets, we have to be smarter. We have to stay independent individuals who think critically and question everything.
So to those who felt that they have somehow been “manipulated” or “duped” into behaving a certain way or purchasing a certain item, it’s not technology’s fault, there’s no individual to blame,it all on you.