We live in an age of global intercommunication. We rely on each other economically, politically, diplomatically. Yet we also rely on each other for something else: information.
From cellular phones to personal computers, humanity is becoming dependent upon technology. Clunky encyclopedias are outdated within a year while the internet is updated constantly. Newspapers line bird cages and litter the streets while colorful apps alert us every hour on the hour. Less people are clocking in for the six o’clock news while more people get their news from more trustworthy social media applications. The way we get our information is steadily becoming less traditional and more technological!
It’s a wonderful thing, honestly. News is no longer something to wait for; it’s on our body at all times. We have instant access to news applications. You’d think we’d have a largely up-to-date and involved population. With access to news every second of every day, you’d think society would be more intellectual when it comes to news and how news is portrayed. Well, as I’ve always said, historians will look back at the early 21st century and see it as a dark age of information.
The Dark Age of Information
In a world where more data is made every other day than throughout the entire course of human history, our overall and general population remains rather uneducated. Many people have cellular phones and use them not to transfer information and news, but to add cultural influences to a rather cancerous internet society. Most of the internet is made up of funny pictures, seven second cat videos, and online chat rooms where the scum of the earth hang out. News apps are ignored while nude selfies are sent.
But that’s not necessarily the problem in this dark age of information. The main problem we’re going to look back upon is censorship. Yes, we have an expansive format of transferring data internationally. But, that expansive format is clustered into an incredibly small box — unable to grow properly.
Governments across the world censor search engines and block websites. Copyright laws and music industries shut down anything that might cost the institutions any money. Free speech is becoming more and more limited across the globe as authoritative regimes realize “the revolution” could easily transfer itself from the internet to the “real world”.
Internet censorship, the suppression of accessible, publishable, or view-able material on the internet, will be the foundation of this modern day dark age. Almost all democratic nations have moderate internet censorship, taking down political blogs and websites that might go a little too far with their belief systems.
Other countries, such as China and Saudi Arabia, limit all access of information through news systems and entire government subdivisions. In these scenarios, citizens find themselves suppressed in terms of online viewing and discussion. Internet censorship is used in these countries as a way to minimize the threat from the organization of protests, riots, and the tracking of possible “elections”.
Politics and power, social norms and morals, and security concerns all limit the spread of information to the people of the world. But, in a world that is slowly losing grip of social norms and morals, it seems as if political power and security “concerns” are merging to create one institution of informational suppression.
From media blackouts to the spreading of misinformation, what very little is left of traditional news media has left itself crumbled into a hypocritical and biased shadow of its former self. It seems as if the voice-box of the human body we label as society — the media — is slowly shaping itself to be nothing more than a box of lies and exaggeration. Every year we have a new “disease” to fear: the Swine Flu, Ebola, Zika Virus. As many socialists would always say, the media tends to be a rather radical way of spreading propaganda rather than news.
In the future, when we study this dark age of information, we’ll wonder how society managed to remain so oblivious to the world around us despite having all the means of understanding it all. For example, the recent Panama Papers leak shows us just how corrupt the world has managed to make itself. All under the noses (and within the pockets) of the people themselves.