5 Riveting Results of Today’s Post-Truth Era
Have you ever wondered what post-truth means? You might have read some newspapers, blogs, and books regarding the post-truth era. Your two eyes might even catch those words through the internet and television. Hey, almost everything related to it is filled with smart-ass rhetoric about somebody. Still, until now, you don’t have a clue what post-truth really means.
If so, let’s go back to its very core. The meaning of post-truth. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, post-truth means, “to relate to a situation in which people are more likely to accept an argument. It is based on their emotions and beliefs, rather than one based on facts.”
Too much for you? Don’t worry. I can still dumb it down for you. It merely means thinking with your heart rather than your brain.
This type of thinking usually leads to a lot of consequences. I won’t talk too much about Trump or the referendum. Neither will I dwell on any socio-psychological principles. Sometimes, showing the results is the perfect way to show people what it is. Hey, you can’t say bad when you don’t know what is terrible, right?
Can’t wait anymore? Here are five riveting results of today’s post-truth era.
- Post Truth Politics
- Fake News Peddling
- The Denial of Scientific Facts
- Eroding Trust and Accountability
- Widespread Ignorance
Let’s dig this thing up.
1. The Danger of Post-Truth Politics
I’ll break down post-truth politics based on my own experience.
The tongues of most politicians are full of nasty spit. Though not all, the majority do. They make promises and sit on it once elected, and guess what? We all know it so. On a personal level, this is one of the reasons why post-truth politicians gained traction.
When politicians' faces are carved from the same mold of hypocrisy, people get tired of it. Then, the next we feel is that we need some fresh air—a game-changer.
We will look for somebody else which resonates with the tiredness of our heart. This time, we just stop thinking, throwing the dice for one big gamble. We look for the most flashy one. The most interesting one must win, thinking that maybe they will bring the change we want. We don’t want those same old politicians. I realized this after watching President Trump and PM Johnson get elected.
So what is post-truth politics? For Evan Davis, post-truth means that “we have reached the peak bullsh*t.” You see the respected President Trump practicing this to the limits of its potential. No wonder he became the face of this concept. Whether we like it or not, he does chug out rhetorics not built on facts but feelings. He lies barefaced. How did I know? Simple. I looked for the facts - the data supported ones.
Even so, I felt enthralled to support Trump (Yep, even if I’m not an American), especially during 2016. Upon deeper circumspection, I realized something. Aside from wanting a change, he felt so real. Trump is Trump. Not fake like most politicians which are a goody-two-shoes on the outside, but a beast on the inside.
A person fed with too many lies is bound to get tired of it. And even if you know it is not true; you get numbed to it. You get tired of fact-checking whether it’s a lie or a truth. In the end, truth or not, it looks the same to you. Well, it took me one heck of pandemic to wake up and realize this.
My advice? Don’t bite everyone’s words on face value. Chew any information properly. Read while thinking and do fact-checking.
2. Fake News Peddling
Hoax news, false news, junk news, and the if-not. These are the trademark of fake news. The biggest problem here is actually not the fake news itself. Instead, it is the one peddling it.
Check most social media sites, and you’ll get a bull of fake news. May it be Twitter, Facebook, or any social media platforms. It’s getting disseminated as if it was correct all along, and only you don’t know it.
I saw this happening all around me, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Heck, even politicians and journalists peddle fake news as if it is real. They were claiming this or that without any robust evidence to back it up.
The most affected by fake news is usually the younger generation. Why? The younger generation, though not all, are all too much into social media. A kid’s reasoning is still developing. They will absorb information like a sponge. Most of them will take all the things they see as facts.
Hey, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs limited their children’s use of the very technologies they created. There's a growing concern on how it affects young minds. That’s why I am advocating the proper use of social media for children.
A piece of advice for parents and expecting parents - don’t feed children with internet dung. Well, lest they grow like one. Protect them from getting overly influence. Take your time to correct and answer their questions.
3. The Denial of Scientific Facts
The most significant issue I’ve seen about the post-truth era is the denial of scientific facts.
When emotions run rampant than logic, this happens. Even the most evidenced-lace facts became subject to conspiracy theories. And these conspiracy theories are believed to be facts. The sad story? Most of the adults don’t care. Only a few dare to put any effort into correcting things.
I know a lot of you might have watched the news or read articles about the pandemic. Let’s take this as an example. Ever heard of the hydroxychloroquine issue? Yep, during the initial pace of the COVID-19, many claimed that it was a miracle drug—the answer to the ails. Yet, not one robust evidence supported it aside from some testimonials and small-scale studies.
Another thing is the face mask issue. Heh, I won’t elaborate much about it. How about searching and reading some journals? Hey, it is literally all over the internet! I recommend starting with WHO facts and accomplished journals like Nature. Don't forget those newsletters from credible sources. Don’t read things from some unknown internet creek and claim it to be true.
Post-truth runs through affecting emotions. They deny things by feelings, not logic. And you cannot reason with emotion.
Want an example? How about explaining things to your wife or husband during one of his or her hysterias? It will be hard, right?
You cannot rationalize with someone who doesn’t want to talk reason. Well, unless you want your mind to get tortured.
4. Erosion of Trust and Accountability
After being fed with false narratives for a long time, you will get skeptical about everything. What’s worse? When you see someone lying barefaced and get away with it! No, accountability at all. Not even a sorry, nor a pardon me. Well, folks, that’s the beginning of eroding trust among the general population.
This is one of the grim yet defining consequences of post-truth rhetoric. People start to lose faith in their government. It is one bad news not only for the sitting officials but also for any nation as a whole.
They can’t trust their government. Why? The elected lie not once, but many times. Imagine people not following the government and taking everything on their own hands. Hey, that’s the beginning of anarchy, right?
5. Widespread Ignorance
The post-truth era feeds on the gullibleness of human emotions. It spreads ignorance among the populace. They play with your heart and make you believe through charisma and power.
When a charming tuxedoed man says that it's true, many just simply believe. When asked why they believe it so? They will answer that he appears believable. Some people digest information without double-checking whether it's good food or poison. Hey, we are already reaching this level of ignorance.
Here is a little trivia for you. Ignorance comes from its root word ignore – that’s what’s happening today. A lot of people simply ignore everything and believe what they want to think.
It doesn’t really matter if it's a fact or not. As long as it feeds the ego or emotions, that’s good enough. Heck, most don’t even check if they’re reading on the opinion page or not. The thing is, when they feel it's right, it is a fact.
Ignorance caused by post-truth narratives also affects children. The young ones are the most affected due to the age of social media. Without guidance, they take what they see or read as facts.
The problem is, most kids don’t know how to distinguish factual claims, and those are not. The worse? They generalized things. What they see, conditions their minds. So parents, please do check what your children are seeing or reading.
Remember this, when you look at the young; you see the future. It is both the responsibility of the government and the parents to take this issue seriously.
I also have some bone to pick against some advertisement claims. There barefaced lying makes me want to puke.
Oh, I believe it's called post-truth advertising. It conditions you to accept what they say through wordplay. Their claims aren’t even supported by research and data. It reeks of lies. A good example is when a fruit juice brand claims 100% no sugar. But heck, fruits do have sugar. It's called fructose also known as fruit sugar!
The Bottom Line
The post-truth era’s level of damage to the future generation is still unclear. We only see a vague outline of the future. And believe me, it’s not really looking good. It’s one of the reasons why I’m writing about this while it is still early. I wrote this piece to serve as an alarm bell for everyone.
Anyway, that is all for now—time to fact-check some news out there.
Who to Trust in Post-Truth Era? Do Watch
Which Among the Post-Truth Issues Is Possibly Affecting You and Your Family?
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Drew Agravante