They Are Manipulating You

I am not a conspiracy theorist.

Dad believed there existed a small group of men who met in Paris who controlled what happened in the world. All the politics. All the beliefs. All the religions. I forget their name, but many thought they were Masons. Many are gullible.

That theory has existed for perhaps centuries. It is so strong that Umberto Eco wrote a novel spoofing the idea called Foucault’s Pendulum. Eco was a professor and author from the University of Bologna (in other words, not American).

But there are companies utilizing every psychological trick they can uncover to manipulate your thoughts and actions. These are Facebook and Google. And today I saw a news item that says McDonalds wants to join the data gathering and “suggestion” ecosystem.

Read Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee.

If we are to be fully human, we need to live with intention.

We need to eat with intention not just mindlessly reacting to stress or while watching TV.

We need to use social media with intention. I heard on Silicon Valley guy on a podcast say, “I use Facebook; I don’t let it use me.” I am only on it to keep up with friends and family. But so much peripheral to that pops up in the news feed that is designed to stir up my emotions, start liking and reposting crap, and (oh, by the way) spend more time on site so that I’ll see more ads.

Usually I search for people I want to keep up with rather than rely on the newsfeed.

And I avoid all the emails from Amazon and Twitter designed to suck me into more time on those sites.

Use the Internet and Web with intentionality; don’t let it use you. That’s today’s spiritual discipline lesson.

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