Mind Control: Is social media changing the way Black Men Think?
Over the last five years of browsing through thousands of websites, articles, YouTube videos, eBooks, and countless documentaries concerning the plight of black men; I have observed some stark realities that I would like to make mention of.
One of the concepts that seem to fill the minds of our online and offline communities is that you can’t get positive and uplifting messages from the mainstream media about black men. Although this carries many truths to bear, we need to reassess the fact that information carries a social life of itself.
If every time we hear some negative news about our communities via mainstream media sites concerning (Stop & frisk) (Chicago Violence) (Crime Rates) (Prison Statistics) (Rap Beef) (Buying Power); and loose our cool, jump up, get rowdy, and start flapping our wings like ducks in a pond then we play into the ‘mind control” of mainstream media. I know we are still sensitive to the past realities and harsh cruelties that has shaped our thinking patterns. But we must begin to think and not react to every connotation mentioned about our community.
Bertrand Russell quoted “most people would rather die than think”; although this is happening in our communities, we got to become smarter and not feed the headless monster. In a recent post I wrote “Lakeith Stanfield’s Instagram Pic as Propaganda” due to the nature of his fashion faux pas. I must admit that I am super irritated with this agenda to effeminize black men in the media.
In order to combat this, we must be able to analyze, organize, evaluate, the information that is being portrayed on a larger stage. Whatever types of imagery is being distributed into the mainstream with the intentions to distract us from the real issues; must be addressed immediately.
Think about how you get your information for a moment in this world. If you are like most African Americans, you derive a large number of your information from television, the internet, national magazine subscriptions and news sources.
Most individuals typically accept the information that they are receiving at face value, as if it were factual and objective, particularly when it comes from reputable sources; but rarely ever consider if the information that they are receiving is actually accurate, complete, and unbiased.
In order for us to dictate the confines of technology and shape it for our benefit we need to think clearly about all the information we are encountering. We must utilize all of your creative platforms, black intellectuals, influencers, and educators to evaluate the accuracy of the information and the credibility of the sources. We cannot get behind as we must learn how to compete on a global scale.
Our competition in the future (Which is now) concerning our growth and development resides on an international scale and not within the confines of America’s border. Our learning needs to be based on a digital reality that helps us to understand how knowledge is created, disseminated, and used in a commercially global environment. This constitutes that we either build our learning institutions or be shaped by the thoughts and ideals of others.
In a recent conducted by (Nielsen) Explores the Influence of Black Culture on Content and Media Trends and the Representation of the Collective Black Community. They posit that “New data shows African Americans spend more time-consuming media than any other group, yet there continues to be a lack of representation of the collective Black community”.
In addition, it states that “Black America is taking control of both the economic and media influence they hold, and they are using it to invest in Black experiences, Black communities, and Black content”. And on top of that….
- Two out of three Black viewers are more likely to watch representative content and buy from brands that advertise in representative content.
- In 2020, Black Buying Power was at $1.57 Trillion.
- In 2021, Black viewing power was at 1.06 Trillion.
This is a lot of Information that can be used for against us. So, my question to everyone is “who’s is controlling the conversations in our communities? To an extent we control our own messages but what’s with all the negativity that comes from the airwaves. Who has access to all of this data? Are we letting the media dictate what we should be thinking about ourselves?
Who controls the internet? These questions and more ought to be on our thinking radars in terms of building a media strategy to counteract this negativity against the psyche of our people.
We got to manage the conversations concerning ourselves and refuse to accept the stereotypes perpetuated by the oppressor; and those even in our own communities who have nothing better to write about except the ills of our own societies. I am not suggesting that self-reflection and being critical is a bad concept or that it should be avoided at all costs, because it can be a very important and critical element to our survival. But what I am suggesting is that we ought to use criticism for solving-problems and not for the degradation of our own people.
Since no solution is ever perfect however creative it may be there will always be room for improvement. If we are to truly understand the role of criticism, then we must begin to grasp the role it plays in problem-solving. It is no secret that we as black men need to take a hard look at ourselves in the mirror and gain some perspective about our journey. But, for now focus your ideas on issues that helps you to expand across global borders, in order to change the context of our outcomes.