Puppeteers of Perception
Unmasking Media Control and Perception Shaping Techniques
According to a Nielson survey conducted in 2012, the average person spends approximately 34 hours a week sitting in front of the television. When we consider the additional time spent online or engrossed in tablets and smartphones, and the overall development of the past ten years, it becomes evident that most people devote at least double that duration to absorbing the perceptions and ideas of others. In essence, we are heavily influenced by the mass media, which acts as an enormous remote control dictating our experiences within the confined boundaries of its influence.
The manipulation of our thoughts and behaviors has become an ingrained part of our daily lives. Whenever we engage with a news story, be it through the television, computer screen, tablet, or even through the traditional medium of newspapers, we unconsciously align ourselves with a particular perspective, potentially overlooking whether it genuinely resonates with us. Often, we accept the presented information as reality without questioning its sources or taking the initiative to delve deeper into the subject matter. Consequently, we inadvertently propagate these ideas to others, and in the age of the Internet and smartphones, this viral effect can rapidly spread on a global scale within minutes.
Imagine a scenario where you possess the power to fully dominate the thoughts of the general population. What could be more effective than seizing prime time on the very media outlets that attract the masses? And the most influential forms of media capable of manipulating our behavior, reshaping our thoughts, and even controlling our consumption habits? News media, advertising, and, in today's world, social networking.
Prepare yourself for a paradigm shift, as the overwhelming onslaught of social programming we encounter on a daily basis takes away your autonomy over the remote control. Brace yourself for a radical alteration in the channels of your mind, because I am going to open the CIA’s playbook for mass media manipulation, including fear, mis- and disinformation, social programming, subliminal manipulation, distraction and more.
THE PARADOX OF FEAR
In an incessant stream, we are bombarded with a constant flow of bleak tidings. Whether it's through television, radio, or even social networking, the stories that flood our senses often possess a distressing, fear-inducing, and anxiety-provoking nature, and they spread like wildfire. However, deep down, we are well aware that positive occurrences unfold in the world. So why does the media revel in focusing on bloodshed, horror, and violence? Simply put, because we, as consumers, respond to it.
The prevalence of negative news stories can be attributed to our innate psychological predisposition to pay more attention to them. It's rooted in fundamental brain science and traces back to our primal instincts for survival. Back in the day, we relied on any fragment of news we could gather to ensure our well-being. Much of that information revolved around fear-inducing elements such as predators, scarcity of resources, adverse weather conditions, and the perils posed by fellow humans. Our primitive brains are hardwired to react strongly to bad news, as it once played a crucial role in our survival. In a world where the threat of danger lurked around every corner, the pursuit of favorable news seemed trivial in comparison.
In today's world, we usually no longer encounter these threats, yet we continue to be captivated by and propagate fear. Some individuals speculate whether the media deliberately cultivates fear and anxiety among the masses as a means of controlling our minds. While this possibility exists, and in some cases even seems probable, the truth is that they don't have to exert much effort to achieve it. We passively accept it without resistance, highlighting the media's hypocrisy and contradictory messages, particularly regarding two subjects that entice their audience: sex and violence.
Take a moment to observe how television and print media extensively emphasize the topics of “rising pornography, crime, violence, gunplay,” in news documentaries, editorials, and analytical pieces. Simultaneously, within the same TV Guide that announces a forthcoming special on “The Crisis of Sex and Violence in America,” you'll find an advertisement for Miami Vice, promoting itself as the “show that brings you the action and excitement you've come to expect.” Similarly, while your newspaper may condemn sex and violence using the most elevated language, the entertainment section proudly showcases a half-page advertisement for a new “action” movie, featuring women in skimpy string bikinis and high heels intimately handling automatic pistols and machine guns.
This phenomenon is commonly referred to as the “Double-Mind” of mass media, and we are all complicit in vacillating between these two states: one that repels and one that embraces. Manipulating behavioral responses through the use of imagery has been a time-honored technique to alter our emotions, and the media excels at presenting shocking, terrifying, and tantalizing visuals.
For those who believe in the concept of mass media mind control, there is ample circumstantial evidence to support their claims. Simply observe a group of people gathered around a television set when breaking news announces the latest terrorist attack. Witness the vacant stares of individuals enduring commercial after commercial just to reach their favorite show, to which they are seemingly “addicted.” Local and national news programs dictate what they deem necessary for us to know, and we unquestioningly accept it, hook, line, and sinker, often without bothering to verify the stories ourselves. We place our trust in the media, convinced that they wouldn't deceive us, unlike politicians and religious leaders who are commonly associated with falsehoods. We exempt the talking heads on channels like Fox, CNN, and MSNBC from that skepticism.
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