Recently in the Orlando Sentinel, one of their columnists wrote an article about anonymous comments. He was very correct in what he wrote, but unfortunately his employer will not do anything about stopping this practice. It is not in their best interest to stop them, because it ultimately brings in money. Of course, it is interesting that his column is drawing a great deal of criticism by the very people that are part of the problem.
News is not news these days. News it not about informing you. News is nothing more than a tabloid press designed to draw you in, engaging your ego and adding some fear, to the point where you need more of it. News is about exciting you and upsetting you so you will come back and pay attention to more of what the crafty creators know will continue this relationship. Yet many people continue to consume what they think "news" is just because they are mesmerized by the illusion of news.
News organizations like the Orlando Sentinel and others get their subscriber base to engage with their website by writing sensationalized stories and by getting people to respond to such stories with anonymous comments. They are not interested in bringing you hard news. They just want you to respond with your own fear, ego, and ignorance via anonymous comments.
When you respond with anonymous comments, you are bringing up all these ads on their website and the more visits to one of their pages, means the higher probability of someone clicking on these ads. The more clicks means the more money.
Anonymous comments are like someone driving down the street at 90 mph and shooting a gun into the houses that line the street. While the bullets may never hit someone, some of them will and they will hurt and injure people in ways no one may ever see. It may seem like a crazy example, but that is essentially what anonymous comments are doing.
While you or the news sites may want to claim they are about news, sprinkling an article of news here and there, does not make their statement true. It is all about enticing the consumer into buying their product they are selling (which is a newspaper and advertising) so that they turn a profit.
Granted, these days it is not just the news media that is the problem because they have to play into the wants and desires of humanity (i.e. greed, sex, ego, fear, ignorance). People have to be constantly entertained by sensationalized articles because our attention spans equal the ding of a tweet or popup of a Facebook notification.
The News Media is a great unifier of the fears and ego in people. They both fit together in a way that brings comfort and empowerment to both sides. It helps people live under the illusions of what life is, rather than by the truth of reality. It is fueled by money and greed, but also by the ignorance of the people playing the roles as subscribers.
One of the best things anyone can do is "turn off" the news. This applies to TV and the newspapers. While you may feel you will be missing out on some important piece of information, try just reading headlines in a day. You'll actually get most of your news that way and it will free up your time for more meaningful pursuits in life. If you can go cold turkey and shut the news off, your life will have much less anxiety and stress!
While you may see that I have anonymous comments enabled on this blog, I do so because of the inner workings of this platform. I'm concerned that by turning that feature off, that I will alienate someone that really needs to reach out. However, I do moderate all comments and if it doesn't adhere to the standards of this blog, it never sees the light of day.
Having a valid discussion with freedom of speech is one thing, but allowing anonymous comments to be hurled without ownership is nothing more than a bullet being hurled into a home. Someone is going to end up getting hurt and in the end, it drags down humanity into the gutter. May we lift up the world by ceasing to engage in anonymous comments whether it is on the Orlando Sentinel or participating in one of the TV media outlets.
My hope is that one day, the news media will get the message that by allowing this practice, they are part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.
Blog Post And Images (c) 3/9/14 by Don Shetterly
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