Life in the third decade of the 2000s is becoming more and more detached from reality, honesty, and truth. Because in reality, I honestly, do not know what truth is anymore.
There are many external factors I could blame for this sorry state of affairs. There is simply too much information to access, and these are coming from new mediums-internet forums, websites and anonymous YouTube accounts compete with the traditional forms of media for my attention. I reside in a transitional world, a society going through puberty and struggling with the hormones. The world still looks the same, but there are hairs growing out of new places, the voice is changing, and it’s making me uncomfortable.
How can I contextualise my place in the world if the information that helps formulate it cannot be trusted? When a major event happens, I log-onto the BBC or The Guardian website, and the feeling that they are only portraying a subjective version of the truth slithers through my judgement. Before the internet, ideology and subjective truth could be more clearly divided in defined camps.
You had the left leaning newspapers, authors, politicians and ideologies (The Guardian, Daily Mirror, Labour, Marxism, Neil Kinnock) and those on the opposite spectrum. The right-wing conservatives and their purveyors (Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Tories, Neo-liberalism, Thatcher). It was easier to choose your camp, it was easier to frame your inherent values with an existing mainstream institution, whether mediatic or political.
Not sure quite when, but then things changed, the internet grew, communication between people from across the world became instant and for a long time unregulated. The traditional forms of media, that had help a monopoly in regulating, orchestrating and distributing information were too slow to understand the magnitude of the internet. The field of information was becoming more and more stratified and it became harder and harder to discern truth from fiction.
This internet-age information did not answer to any institutional or governmental oversight. Nor was it bound by any traditions, or nor did it require years, even decades of know-how. The internet meant that anyone with a phone-line and a computer could become a journalist, expert or is now known as an “influencer”. No need for journalism school, a university degree, or any institutionally sanctioned certificate of expertise. We entered a new era.