In the last two articles we came to the conclusion that mainstream media is not a reliable source of social and political truth. We’re not discussing reforming that area, we simply observe what it is. I personally don’t judge, I just see it as the way world functions these days. It may change in the future, and we may find ways to disseminate the social truth in reliable and unbiased ways, but until then we have to live with what it is.
So, here are a few approaches that may help managing mainstream media in a less toxic way.
Practice Healthy Distrust
One way to manage mainstream media would be by practicing healthy distrust. You don’t have to reject it all the way, but just by knowing that its reason to exist is to validate the most predominant bias in society, you can adjust your expectations.
Distrust, practiced consciously, is a very healthy activity. You are already practicing it, with very good results. For instance, I don’t think you would go marrying the very first person you meet on the way to the office today. In 99.99999% of the cases this won’t happen. This is healthy distrust. It doesn’t mean you can’t have some nice conversations with some of the persons you met, or even a meaningful encounter, but you won’t engage in life altering decisions, because, you know, healthy distrust.
It’s the same with mainstream media. Some of the information presented on that stream can be useful, but that doesn’t mean you should engage in life altering decisions because of what you see on the TV, or what you read on “reputable” news sources.
Managing Peer Pressure
Because it’s “mainstream”, mainstream media covers a lot of the social fabric, which means many people are under its “spell”. Among them, probably, significant persons in your social circle. It may be that parts of your family are into it, or friends, or coworkers. That’s expected.
So a certain amount of peer pressure is due. Just be aware of that and try to navigate it openly, but not with confrontation. Just because they are choosing a different truth than yours, doesn’t make them intrinsically bad, just different. As long as you can maintain some boundaries and give some room to express to everybody, you should all be fine.
Balance It With Down Stream Media
If you have access to down stream media sources, try to expose yourself to them too. If you do not have access to them, try and find them. You’ll be surprised to find them closer than you think.
Here, again, a lot of discernment has to be applied. Although they’re both labeled “conspiracy theory groups”, downstream media outlets and lunatics circles are not the same. Do your homework. Understand if the downstream media group is just an outlet for idiotic claims, or an actual group of people who are trying to uncover uncomfortable, maybe painful truths.
Reduce Consumption To Bare Necessity
You may be just fine with probably less than 10% of the amount of news you’re consuming today. Try and act accordingly.