EDITORIAL: All aboard the downward spiral
ITS ALL aboard the downward spiral where everybody and everyone gets their own media channel that tells them exactly what they want to hear.
This is a game that's fun for the whole family and below I have quickly (and unfairly) sketched out just a few demographic cliches, who all get their own media echo chamber in which to dwell.
If you hold the misbegotten notion that climate change is a hoax and political correctness is stifling your ability to clearly articulate your well thought through fears of Islam and homosexuals and you scream the chorus of Sweet Home Alabama like you mean it when you hear it at the pub, there are news services and a plethora of news outlets that agree with you and their articles will fill your News Feed as if its your divine right to go ahead and buy that shiny new 4x4 SUV (with gun racks).
Likewise if you are of the alarmist opinion that the earth's climate system may already be irretrievably broken and its only a matter of time before we are living on Soylent Green and you do a twirly- helicopter dance every time you see Michael Franti play at a music festival then that's the kind of stuff you'll see in your news feed. This of course will happen by ancient shamanistic magic...or some such, and it will become manifest that frighteningly expensive kombucha will make you a better person.
If every thing is too loud and fast these days and you believe it was all just fine before they invented teenagers, the environment and Vietnam and that Midsummer Murders is the best thing since Bridge on the River Kwai then there are a whole swath of radio talk back hosts ready to confirm your fears...of everything, sell you funeral insurance and metaphorically pat the back of your hand saying, "there there, you poor thing.”
If you really don't believe in anything and don't want to know about anything but you like pretty things, renovating houses, negative gearing, binge watching Game of Thrones and that Adele is the greatest artist of all time and there should be more sport on TV- especially sports that take place inside cages then there are newspapers and magazines that will make you realise a genuine Italian marble kitchen bench top will deliver you inner peace.
Or, Any combination of all of the above.
The stories, pictures and opinions from this hyper segmented media landscape get turbocharged by Facebook.
Inevitably among its more than 1.8 billion active users tribes of believers gather to get aboard the downward spiral of being told what they want to hear.
Importantly advertisers can also target these tribes and many believe that this is the whole point of Facebook.
Each individuals fears get fanned, enemies are defined and demonised and blame apportioned. This fostering of a hyper-tribalised society can make the building of consensus (necessary for progress) nigh on impossible.
Getting off the downward spiral can be hard especially if you really really like Sweet Home Alabama.