Have You Missed Something?

In the fast pace of the so-called modern life, our life may have lost something it does not know missing. Could it be that a part of you is stolen without you realizing it? In the name of money, that could happen easily, 24-hour a day.

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Every time you open your eyes in the morning, there is another day given for you to live. Whether you are that diligent worker, obedient student, or rebellious unemployed, you cannot escape the ubiquitous internet, especially the stream of news and status updates from social media. Even if you are not a social media avid user, as part of a large audience, you will still be exposed to newspapers, magazines, tabloids, and the likes. Not a reader or a subscriber? The advertisements surround your every move with chitty chatty of what’s hot from your nearest human beings.

The information era, the one we are currently living in, delivers us real time news and various updates of life by connecting people. The powerful internet has successfully built its own society, within it large and small get-togethers combine their ideas while architecting a different kind of life. Geographic barrier is practically absent. News feeds are integrated to our daily meals—without them, the brain feels slightly empty. People are endlessly discussing what’s new and millions of updates—text, photo, and video are delivered every second. So from that very perspective, the life we are currently having is actually a very rich life. Those whole chunks of information are for us to consume.

The powerful internet has successfully built its own society, within it large and small get-togethers combine their ideas while architecting a different kind of life.

However there is certain truth that you ought to know. Not everything that comes to you is valid, correct, or reliable. Every information that comes to us is often times catered to fulfill certain party’s necessity—the powerful party, mostly financially influential (and that could be your favorite brands or most consumed product makers). Therefore just like the outspoken, mindful consumers who choose products carefully before consuming them, we have to treat the stream of information that comes to us selectively. Do not believe everything. Questioning is better than accepting everything at once.

Especially with news portal and media company turn their heads away from delivering the truth and timely news, each story that knocks our door every morning is potentially a paid one. Even when they are not paid, a great percentage of it is written to attract advertisers or content sponsors or whatever they name it. Have you ever read something called “advertorial?” That is basically an article written based on requests from certain company, letting the media reinterpret the offer they have and adjust the tone of selling with the tone of the newspapers or magazines. The way advertisers attempt to dilute the selling gimmicks while news is morphing into an unidentifiable disguise, ranging from product placement, content sponsorship, to simply asking for their events to be covered in the publication.

The way advertisers attempt to dilute the selling gimmicks while news is morphing into an unidentifiable disguise.

The advertising strategies do not only stop in publication, it extends to the place your favourite celebrity picks to have a dinner (you might have read it in his/her twitter), watches and cars you see in the movies (there might be a huge amount of money involved in placing the products in the scene), or that link you click when you are browsing web pages. It then brings us to a fact that a humongous chunk of today’s life involves selling, in which we would not be able to escape. Does that choice of living, buying, reading, or even thinking purely belongs to you?

Freedom is what we have missed, the liberated thought that abides only by knowing the truth and learning vast knowledge through education. But education themselves is practically out of reach for many, with rising costs that are eating the bank account. With now social media and online platforms race for followers and visitors number for the advertisers to review, what we have left is the integrity to make better choice and stay skeptical. The money can turn your life by altering your choices and selling you something the moment you don’t even know happening.

Text: Gabriela Yosefina.
Image is from tumblr.