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And you thought you were aware.

Knowledge is power, they say. We are knowledgeable, the crowds scream. Where does it originate? Believe you me, it’s all a ploy. A click here and a click there, overstimulated, though ill-informed. It comes back to you, just as it does me. Stuck in these endless loops of consumption, we believe we are aware.



Sometimes intangible walls seem like a greater force - ones that confine the mind instead of the body. How did that saying go, “I think therefore I am?” or was it the other way around. If I am to be brutally honest, neither seem to be true. We seize to exist the moment we seize to think and do borrowed thoughts really count? I think not. Freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom to conceive – it’s all a façade. Stuck in these intangible walls, we believe we are free.


How do you conceive danger? Does being in shackles count? What if I told you, you were stuck in an enclosed chamber. What if it was an echo chamber, would you conceive it as danger? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – they’re all the same. Creating these facades of freedom, they think they can fool us? Creating these loops of information, they think they can fool us? Making us believe we are autonomous; they think they can fool us?


But they are though.


Stuck in these echo chambers, we believe we are aware.

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12 Comments


Mariam
Mariam
Dec 01, 2023

This was insanely and eerily good! This piece reminds me of how, often, we're so preoccupied with social media and turn to it whenever we need a distraction. There are studies that claim that our brains are drowning in dopamine due to our social media addictions and dependency, and it's clearly becoming a larger issue day by day. This is actually one of my favorite topics to read about. While I do think social media has connected the world a lot more, it's done a fair share of damage too. The countless echo chambers, immoral activities, cyber crimes and misinformation on social media have proved to be way more harmful to the world than precedented. I feel like now with…


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First of all, thank you for recommending videos to watch! This is actually a topic that I'm really intrigued by nowadays. As you rightly mentioned, social media has done a lot of good as well but honestly, in my head, its a constant battle between whether its doing more harm than good or vice versa. Moreover, your examples of the harm that social media is doing are genuinely a nudge towards a much needed reality check. Even though, I do think about the adverse effects of social media's usage (thus the blog), it's a very natural instinct to avoid thoughts that are hard to think about or even slightly disturbing - something that I really must work on.

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This was a very beautifully articulated and well written blog! Reading it made me recall the session we had on who owns the media we consume and its relevance to the type of media whereby apps such as Instagram & Twitter or even TikTok all gather content of more or less the same type yet are divided significantly by their differing interactive measures. Scrolling through TikTok and Instagram helps one only view media whilst Twitter uses reading and interpreting as a tool for its transfer thus far becoming a more widely trusted platform.


However as you mention we are still stuck in a vicious cycle as in the case of eco chambers and intangible walls that confine us to what…

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This was actually an interesting comment because of the way it made me think about a lot of concepts pertaining to what you talked about here and what I've talked about in my blog. Regarding the part about a sense of knowledge, I wanted to clarify that where I wrote "we are knowledgable, the crowds scream" I was referring to group think and how everyone is so quick to jump on the bandwagon without having any independent thoughts. Moreover even the part where you mentioned the validation measures, my take on that is that we tend to look at information that suits us: its a classic case of confirmation bias. All in all, its a mind boggling situation, one that…

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This was a really lovely piece. It reminded me often of the argument that surrounds the very selective and personal nature of social media. Like, a lot of our twitter and Instagram feeds are designed in accordance to certain algorithms that display familiar narratives that we have either searched for, liked, or followed. It does bring up the question whether we are actually hearing other perspectives on social media or simply listening to voices like our own repeated back to us in the form of similar content. Are we really becoming more knowledgeable, or simply listening to the sound of our own words and thoughts in someone else's voice?

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It's actually a mind boggling concept and I like the way you've put it. I'm not even kidding when I say, it makes me go in never ending loops and I still haven't fully understood it but I'm glad that people, including myself, are at least thinking about this.

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I believe this post is a great reflection of the idea of the "rhizomatic" knowledge structures as presented by Deleuze and Guattari. It states that rather than knowledge stemmong from a source and then developing upwards, it is rather perpetuated and built in a rhizomatic structure, borrowing from different ideas and developing while intertwined with each other. However, the ease of transmitting knowledge in the information age may threaten the very knowledge structure due to the difficulty in distinguishing between fact and fiction.

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You've introduced such an interesting concept and I'll definitely be reading into this more. The problem of distinguishing between fact and fiction is genuinely one that needs to be given more weightage in an age where big data is taking over and information isn't valuable anymore but rather the selection and analysis of it due to it's production and circulation in really high magnitudes.

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For me, the blog gnomically portrays the illusion that governs our lives, as orchestrated by the ruling elite. Unfortunately, a substantial portion of Pakistan's population lacks access to authentic information. The ruling elite employs methods like press coercion and curtailment of freedoms, such as freedom of speech, to shape the perspectives of our citizens. Notably, those with political influence or statutory obligations dominate the major industries in Pakistan's market. This consolidation of power extends to media control, creating an echo chamber that confines us to a demographic similar to our own. Consequently, we become desensitized to the struggles faced by the underprivileged majority in Pakistan.

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I actually never thought about it from the perspective of the ruling elite. I think this correlates with what we studied in a class regarding actually thinking about where information is coming from and who's controlling these platforms where we perceive ourselves to be in power - which genuinely is a facade (something I've actually mentioned one too many times now). I always thought about this as a cycle which led to media control, but your comment has actually pushed me to think about it from a more deliberate lens.

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