The internet has something about everything and conspiracies are no exception. There is literally a conspiracy for every major event that has happened in history. Conspiracies can come from anything regardless of what kind of thing happened or how it was documented. Something can be documented perfectly but people will still find a way to spin it into something other than it appears. People see what they want to see, regardless of fact. Take the moon landing for example. This was an event that was documented first hand but yet people still believe that it was faked by the government. This exemplifies how people let their feelings for other aspects of life influence how they view the world. So someone that doesn’t trust the government for political reasons may view everything that they do as faked, hence the moon landing conspiracy. However, not every conspiracy has to come from a specific event. There are many conspiracies simply having to do with the physical earth. One of the most prominent theories is the flat earth theory. This stems straight from the “seeing is believing” thought process. People believe that because no one has ever seen the entire earth, it must be a flat object. Despite it being physically impossible to ever see the entire Earth since its a sphere. This conspiracy theory really gained a lot of popularity last year thanks to the internet. Kyrie Irving, one of the best basketball players in the world, made the statement that the world was indeed flat which naturally went viral. It had countless people becoming new believers in this theory based solely off of its spread through the internet. The internet allows people to have easy access and exposure to these wild conspiracy theories, thus broadening their scope.
And here is a link to my personal favorite conspiracy theory that is 100% accurate because it was on reddit which is always factually correct.
The Finland Conspiracy and all you need to know about it. from finlandConspiracy
Black Mirror is a show based off a dystopian future alternate society where aspects of our current lives are blown up and portrayed in this society. In the episode Nosedive, their entire society is based off of social media. Everyone rates their interactions with pretty much everyone they see throughout the day in addition to the basic Instagram-like social media feed. Your social status is determined by what other people are ranking you. Because of the constant need to be building your profile, people’s morph their personalities and basically try to become a new person. In order to do this, they start doing things that they think others will like rather than what makes them happy personally. One scene in particular that stuck out to me was in the beginning of the episode when Lacie is literally standing in front of the mirror practicing her laugh. She is trying to change her laugh and smile to make it more appealing to others. This just seemed absurd to me as she is literally trying to change something that is a natural body function. We don’t pick our laughs, they just come out. With this kind of conformity, society as a whole becomes fake. Everyone is pretending to be something that they are not. Without being able to express your individuality openly, it all gets bottled up inside just waiting to explode and release back into society. This bottling up of personalities is not healthy and it shows. The woman truck driver who doesn’t care about her ranking and just speaks her mind seems so free when contrasted to the rest of society. You can see the development of Lacie’s realization that what other people think isn’t all that matters in life. Once one thing goes wrong, everything starts to fall apart around her spiraling out of control as all of her emotions she’s kept in come pouring out culminating in the wedding speech. Then she frees herself from the societal pressure and judgement when she goes to jail. Lacie’s true self comes out and she is overcome with all the pent up personality.
This episode kinda scared me because this seems like something that could actually happen in our society in the future. We are already so intertwined with social media that this next step doesn’t seem that far fetched. The more we let social media influence and control the way we perceive each other, the closer we come to making this episode reality.
Big Brother. A phrase commonly used to describe the constantly increasing amount of surveillance of us by the government and corporations. These institutions can figure out every aspect of our lives extremely accurately without that much digging. Simply by monitoring our use of technology in our daily lives, companies like Oracle and Acxiom create profiles of our persona off of our online habits. With the internet being increasingly involved in our lives, these profiles are becoming more and more descriptive. They can tell what kind of mood you’re in by the way you browse on your computer, your socioeconomic status by your purchases and website history, and even your physical characteristics based off Facebook likes. Most people live in ignorant bliss of the fact that all of our lives are being monitored and sold from company to company so that they can target their advertisements and do who knows what. In Feed, this same data mining and profiling is seen in their feeds. The advertisements are programmed based off of what they have been looking at and thinking. Violet has decided she isn’t going to play along with the feed anymore and is attempting to throw off the algorithm by shopping for things that have no logical connection. This is something that we could do as well to try to counteract the widespread monitoring of our lives, every now and then browse the internet for things that would make no sense together. In our society, we are always being watched, it is hard to go anywhere and not be seen on a camera of some sort. This data monitoring can be convenient sometimes with things that you’re actually interested in being placed in accessible locations but when there is no disclosure on what is being done with the information, that is when problems can arise. This identity profiling can be highly dangerous if it ends up in the wrong hands. With this kind of secrecy, who knows what is happening with our information.
The internet has changed the world at every level of society. Our world looks incredibly different than it did just 20 years ago and is still rapidly evolving. Some people have trouble adapting to new things, specifically old people. You always hear about the classic grouchy old man, getting mad at kids for being kids. From the readings that we’ve done this week, we can clearly see that this feeling exists when it comes to technology. The articles were filled with angry old men writing about how technology is keeping us apart from each other and leading to many of the problems that we are facing. Kenneth Gergen and his idea of the absent presence has an aggressively anti-technology tone throughout the article. He blames cell phones for the issues we have in society like columbine, suicides, and even child pornography. To me, this sounds like an old man blaming something new for all the problems in the world. Just like the phrase, cant teach an old dog new tricks, you can’t give an old person new technology. People don’t like change, so when massive changes happened, like for example the internet, people are going to be abrasive to it in the beginning. As someone that has grown up with the internet, I have always embraced and understood it, but for someone that grew up with radio being a big deal, the internet would have shocked their world. My promise to myself is that I will always keep up with the new technology of our society so I never become a grumpy old man who hates change.