Written by Dr. Ellen Conner, PhD — Research Coordinator at New Earth University
A combination of current technology and the rise of the 90s from the ashes of recession and repression have officially validated my childhood speculations that censorship became mainstream in the 90s and has been disguising itself in plain sight ever since.
If one was born between the years 1975-1980 there is a good chance you were censored into submission without being fully aware of it or potential long term impact. In the age of information and the internet, advances in search engines and the ease of access to anything and everything it has become much more difficult to censor today’s youth. If the news only shows what it wants you to see you can go online and usually find the actual speech or footage of the incident being reported. While internet, since arriving in our households, has presented copious pitfalls, generating new arenas for predators and false experts to peddle their snake oil, it has simultaneously created the opportunity for everyone to be more informed. From the printing press to Google, technology will always be both tool and weapon. They shrink the world, connecting us and granting access to information. Our dependence can be unsettling as is the innate human tendency to use technology to exploit more so than inspire but with each and every abuse, each and every mistake, comes a better understanding and appreciation for the tools we create, embracing innovation as part of our evolution.
Being born in 1980 has granted those on the cusp of the millennial generation a unique perspective on the technology boom. We went from playing Oregon Trail in elementary school to dial-up chat rooms in middle school. Ethernet and Naptser slowly eroded our original CD collections to sharpied burned copies only to be replaced altogether by MP3s and online streaming. We took pictures on film all through college and were too old for sexting scandals once camera phones became a reality. Facebook was for college kids in our mid 20s and we were nearly 30 when the smartphone was introduced. The age at which many of these technologic advances occurred affords a unique coexistence. Gen Y sits perfectly in the middle of a time without and a time of enlightenment. Good or Bad it is our generational duty to bridge this gap.
When Sinead O’Conner ripped up that picture of the pope on SNL the only thing I was exposed to was snapshot of an angry artist in mid-tear. I never saw the beautiful and powerful rendition of War she did prior to tearing up that pic. Instead I was introduced to a media campaign dead set on painting her as a disturbed and reckless artist, one that I should not trust. This type of mainstream censorship and other forms of institutional brainwashing, like the D.A.R.E. program, reveal the incredible effort used by those consumed by power and money to control information. More money is spent on optimizing search engines, marketing campaigns, and kickbacks devoted to information manipulation than on the research and development these powers that be promise and receive tax breaks for.
In a time where the sheer amount of accessible information is only comprehensible by self-learning neural networks being designed in people’s basements it is not difficult to get informed. However, the information clutter makes it incredibly challenging to differentiate good information from bad, often inducing analysis paralysis. Likewise, our current political climate, news media outlets and our susceptibility to ego-bias makes finding, let alone, creating trustworthy digital resources frustrating, BUT learning anything can be frustrating at first. Out of this collective frustration comes growth and understanding. To be better informed, we have to do the work. Embrace the growing pains.
Why is education important?
Why is learning each and every day so important?
Why should continuing to learn about anything and everything on your own be important?
Why is it important to develop skills that aid in your learning process?
-How to find information.
-How to process it.
-How to organize it.
-How to remember it.
-How to apply it.
Being informed is the first step towards implementing positive change and manifesting positive outcomes. This is as true for personal relationships and career aspirations as it is for large scale changes to broken systems negatively impacting society and the greater global community.
The second step requires valuing and developing creativity, your own, as well as, in those around you. Creative thinking is not only critical to the successful application of concepts and information you’ve acquired via one’s education and experiences but vital to the development and effective execution of viable solutions to the problems preventing positive growth and happiness, personally and globally.
While being more informed and creative will result in more good than bad one must not ignore the development of emotional intelligence when progressing through life. This third educational element is often the most difficult to not only learn but teach, as it requires a tremendous amount of work in the form of introspection. The products of one’s emotional efforts take time to reveal themselves. Enacting long-lasting changes is difficult and maintaining those changes and positive practices is even more difficult. A well-developed emotional IQ is essential to cultivating productive collaboration and crucial to enduring the storms of doubt and failures that inevitably occur along the way.
Sinead O’Conner – War – SNL (video) October 3, 1992