I’m fully convinced that EVERYTHING in America today is agenda driven. With people having shorter attention spans, messages must be carefully crafted into 30-second soundbites. Those soundbites are what’s being reported as “news” by all sides of every debate and issue.
One of the books I was listening to the other day noted that companies spend $5 million to produce and buy a single 30-second Super Bowl ad in hopes of convincing people to purchase $25 million worth of the firm’s products. That means commercials are designed and tested to sway opinion just enough in 30 seconds that people are willing to part with their cash.
The author noted that if all it takes is 30 seconds of meticulously crafted input to convince people to form enough favorable opinion to buy $25 million or more of a product, what does that mean when kids and adults spend hours playing violent video games or watching sexualized TV content and negative news?
The point being that our minds are so susceptible to influence that we really need to watch what we allow to enter our minds.
We’re not in the middle of a news war with outlets competing for audience, we’re in the middle of a propaganda war involving hundreds of politicians and thousands of special interest groups. They’re all carefully crafting, testing and manipulating messages to compete in a digital arena to gain followers in an era of constantly declining attention spans.
Those messages are being funneled THROUGH the media (TV, radio, newspapers, social media, movies, etc.) in commercials, soundbites and scripts to shape people’s perception of reality.
The truth is, it’s all a virtual reality. Nobody can tell the difference between fact, fantasy or opinion anymore. People are better referred to as sheeple — easily manipulated and willing to follow whoever shakes the food bucket.
A new report released today by Pew Research shows that only 25 percent of adults can properly distinguish between news and opinion. I’m surprised it’s that high.
I talked to a good friend this morning who returned from a three-week trip to Italy on Sunday. He told me he didn’t check news on his phone, watch a single news show on TV or read a newspaper the entire time he was on the trip. He said that after a few days his mood and attitude started soaring. He’s an avid news junkie and even he said he’s making a commitment to limit news intake to 15 minutes a day.
I think people everywhere are finally catching on to what is happening in our culture and they are tuning it out.
In Philippians 4:8, Apostle Paul encouraged us to watch what we allow our minds to dwell upon. It’s even more relevant today than 2,000 years ago.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
He outlined the benefits of doing so in Romans 12:2:
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Turn off the TV, close the laptop, put down the phone and open your Bible or a motivational book. You need the rest!