It's getting harder and harder to see the bigger picture of what is important in life.
As a race of people we are constantly being bombarded with advertising and marketing campaigns from the moment we wake up until the time we go to bed, no matter it seems where we are in the world. To make it worse when the TV's and the radios are switched off we are all passing on the message of these enormous global corporations to each other via our phones or our big mouths! From the time you first look at your Facebook page sat in bed on a morning, to checking the news, to eating branded food products, to watching any sort of television the list is just endless of opportunities for companies to sell something to you.
Everything carries a message and the message to me doesn't seem a good one. We are telling each other that everyone needs to tow the line, that we should all look and feel the same, that being different in any way is wrong and should be looked down upon.
It's all down to big businesses. A very small amount of people want to keep us in check so that they can carry on earning exorbitant amounts of money from us in various disguised ways. In all honesty it's extremely unlikely that we know most of the worlds most powerful people as they hide on tiny private islands and behind a veil of shady corporations. These people are so powerful that they employ other slightly less hugely powerful people (President of the United States for example) to be their public puppets. Everything it seems is one big game. From starting the next war, to drip feeding us new technology to keeping the cost of fuel artificially high. It's money and very few people have a great deal of the stuff.
It's tiring to see but I'm trying to change my life to do something about it. I no longer buy newspapers for starters. Who cares what political standpoint they each have, they all preach a slightly different negative sermon along similar lines, following stories that generally don't matter and glossing over ones that do. News flits from one new war to another. Iraq, Libya, Syria, Eritrea or Afghanistan without generally seeing one from start to finish while all the while we see innocent civilians the casualties of these ridiculous conflicts. It's no surprise when you think about it. War means weapons and destruction, big business sell guns and own huge construction companies...oh and the oil that powers it all. I wrote my University thesis on this issue and 10 years later the issues are exactly the same and the conclusions are same. War is profit for a select few and these are the people that start them.
If it's not war we see on the news, then the only other stories deemed newsworthy appear to now be reality TV or film stars doing something they shouldn't be, promoting this lifestyle as something to aspire towards. Where are the stories of courage, of bravery and of positivity in the United Kingdom? They are pushed to a final segment slot or not even reported at all. Instead we are bombarded with fear of each other. Fear of not only ISIS or other so called terrorists but that we need the latest iPhone or the latest car, or that we need to buy a house because if we don't we will be destitute on the streets. We are being sold that if we don't have the latest technology that we are somehow inferior to our fellow man who does.
When I was young we had no games consoles or mobile phones to keep us entertained, a football and a patch of grass was enough. Yet I walk past parks and they seem empty these days, kids are at home sending selfies to their mates two streets away while others plan how they are going to get to Syria to fight for a cause they know nothing about. I feel bad for them, that this is the world that is being forced upon them and most won't even realise that there is more to life than electronic media.
I've personally taken the decision to stop listening. I search out and try to restrict my connectivity to the outside world and I'm much happier for it. When I read these days I don't go to the BBC news website I stick to books or independent magazines. I deleted Facebook from my phone, I don't have a twitter account and my Sky TV subscription has been cancelled. I want to engage with the world and people around me but I'd like to actually go out and speak to people in order to do this.
It's hard to break away but I'm trying. I try more and more to question what I buy, what I read, what I eat. Am I being another sheep in the flock or can I do something differently. 2015 is upon us and I'm going to try even harder this year. I wrote down the top five things that are important to me, here is what I came up with. My girlfriend, my family, my friends, travelling the world and being free. None of those are materialistic yet all of them require me engaging with people face to face. The internet is fantastic, social media is great but limit how much you engage with them, memories aren't made by playing Xbox. People and places make the world a great place so let's all try to move away from the computer and back out into the open air. I'm off to chuck some trainers on, what are you going to do?
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