The network controls our thoughts.

Today, we have the conditions to receive information from all directions. We judge the authenticity of these information and judge the quality of things according to our own thinking. We may be subject to many restrictions in our work and life, but we believe that our thoughts are free and each of us is proud of being able to think independently. However, are our thoughts really independent?
Traditional media guide us to think
The United States participated in many wars in the middle and late last century, including the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, which we are most familiar with. The two wars were fought in two completely different time and space, and the objects of the war had no common features. However, during the war, the attitude of the American people towards the war showed a similar curve-at first they had a high support rate for the war, then they fell sharply. After falling to a certain extent, the support rate remained relatively stable within a certain range of values, and after a certain period of time, it fell sharply again. Finally, the government had to withdraw its troops in accordance with public opinion. What the hell is going on here? Is it true that the American people’s thoughts are so unified after several decades?
In fact, this is all the “credit” of the media. Scientists found that when the war started, the American people supported the war out of patriotism. When the war entered the white-hot stage, when the American people saw the images, words and records of war casualties, some people who originally supported the war because of their “patriotism” would first give up their adherence to the war, while the thoughts of others remained relatively stable. When casualties in the battlefield increase sharply, the media make a lot of negative reports, and the cost of the war is obviously higher than the income, the public support rate for the war will plummet again, forcing the government to withdraw its troops.
This situation is completely different from the ancient wars. In ancient times, due to inconvenient transportation and slow information transmission, not to mention ordinary people, even emperors could only postpone for a few days to get the latest battle report. Therefore, since ancient times, there has been a saying that “the generals at the front line have absolute command over the battle, and whether the domestic people support the war or not has nothing to do with whether the war should be carried out.
Therefore, in modern society, our thinking is guided by the media rather than independent thinking. Since we cannot be present at the scene, we can only obtain information through the media, what we see are actually “facts” edited by the media. If the media report the abuse of prisoners of war and the death of soldiers, and show the bloody war and the sad families of the dead in front of the audience, then the anti-war sentiment of the people will naturally breed. If the media keep reporting the news of the victory, showing the heroic bearing of the soldiers and the mobilization declaration of the generals, then the people will naturally regard joining the army as an honor and eager to go to the battlefield.
From the very beginning of its establishment, the traditional TV media has acted as a “guide” to let the audience become its followers. Following its rhythm, our thoughts seem to be free, but in fact they are framed in a narrower frame. In the past, we could only see the world before us. Our thoughts were influenced by the people around us. Television has allowed us to see the “edited” distant world. Our vision has been broadened, but the space for thinking has become narrower.
The network more implicitly fetters thoughts.
Many people have seen the disadvantages of traditional media. Therefore, on the one hand, we should standardize the professional ethics of media people and devote ourselves to presenting the audience with a more real and objective world. On the other hand, we are also looking for a better way to understand the world. The emergence of the Internet seems to be the greatest opportunity. Can it break the shackles of traditional media on thought?
In this era of information explosion, the number of Internet users worldwide has exceeded 2 billion, and this number will continue to increase in the future. The Internet is an information platform. As long as we need to press the search engine, we can find everything we want to see, no matter where you are on the earth. Undoubtedly, the Internet has turned the earth into a “global village”, but its more important function is to provide a platform for people to exchange information.
Unlike traditional media, TV stations can only unilaterally disseminate information to us. Every participant in the Internet can become a producer of information, publishing microblogs, videos, uploading an original song or writing an online novel. These things are no longer “specialized in technical fields” but can be done by everyone. Therefore, the Internet era is also called the era without secrets. Once something slightly bigger happens, it will be immediately transmitted to the Internet and watched by thousands of people.
Under such circumstances, it is impossible to influence people’s thinking through one-sided reporting of facts and expert guidance. However, people can get relatively real and objective information from the network, does it really mean that the network can break the shackles of traditional media on people’s thoughts?
Not really. In the network media, the “experts” in the traditional media have indeed been marginalized and can no longer “rule” our thinking, but the “hot topics” created by the network media every day are also guiding our thinking. Although you may not know or be very interested in those hot topics, you will certainly glance through them, because friends, colleagues and family members often mention these topics. In such browsing, your thoughts have actually been guided by the network. Think carefully, isn’t this a disguised form of forcing our thoughts to follow the network? Under the rule of the Internet, we pay too much attention to the understanding of hot topics, but seldom think about the meaning behind those hot topics. When we read other people’s feelings and reprint some praise casually, we actually give up our space to think. In the long run, the Internet will make our world impetuous and lack the spirit of inquiry.
In ancient society, our thoughts were influenced by the people around us. After the emergence of TV stations, our thoughts were guided by the contents of TV stations. Now, the Internet has begun to invade our thoughts and even influence our way of life. Our thoughts have been unconsciously dominated by the Internet. While the Internet gives us vast amounts of information without distinction, it makes us conform to others. This requires us to be vigilant. If we cannot realize this, our brains will never be truly free.