Conspiracy mask guy fawkes

Why Conspiracy Theories Are Thriving In The Digital Age

We don’t read what we share. 

For so long I’ve wondered why I’ve been so resilient about the media industry. And then it hit me: Meme culture is to blame.

We treat media posts like a meme, reading the headline and thinking “oh, that sounds right”. It fits in with our mental niche and then we share it, disregarding the meaty plot that lies within.

Take this social media post for example:

Without clicking on it, you’ll be thinking, “Wow! We can get out of this predicament sooner than expected.”

But you don’t realise that the only reason we can get out of lockdown is if we download the COVIDSafe tracking app, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Of course, this not a dig at the app – I’ve downloaded it myself. No, this is a dig at the way the story has been displayed on social media. The sad fact is, not everyone who reads the headline will open the article.

In fact, only 45% of readers will likely read an entire article. And that’s only if they click on it.

This is of great concern when it comes to the current climate of conspiracy theories. No wonder they are getting traction. Because people don’t read anymore, they simply just agree.

And that’s not the community’s fault, it’s the media. We’ve been sucked into the idea of clickable content, and so we go with it. Not realising that “clickable” is a misnomer.

And as well as the media outlets, it’s also the social media platforms. We’ve been allowed to share content with absolute ease. There are no safeguards about content distribution until someone pipes up and whinges about it. And that is problematic in the world of media bubbles. Or online groupings, as I prefer.

We don’t seek out bubbles to sit in, because the human race enjoys the idea of freedom. No matter what culture you’re from. But we do seek out similarities.

We see what OUR people enjoy and we share it.

Let’s fix it!

We all must learn to read more. And that includes me, too. I am at fault of this, just like everyone else.

And social media needs to change the way we share content. “Spreadability” is causing more problems than remedies.

Spread the word!