Is this the post-truth era?

Is “post truth” truly a social media phenomena?

So let's get some facts straight. The Oxford English Dictionary selected “Post Truth” as the word of the year, not because they like it. 

It simply is being used by the population more in texting, like, you know, like social media stuff.
Just because people use it doesn’t make it correct. What the heck is post truth anyway?

Manipulation? To a large degree, I think it is manipulation. Check out the U.S. political election.

The President Elect has largely contradicted many of his original promises. They were not true, he did not need to speak truthfully, he needed to elicit an emotion… that is manipulation.

He did not debate with his opposition; he hurled vitriolic abuse at them, yet now, they are part of his close advisory team.

So yes, Post Truth could be seen be manipulation.

This might ring a bell for those of you who read Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, a dystopian novel by English author George Orwell published in 1949.

The novel is set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province of the superstate, Oceania.

It is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public manipulation, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (or Ingsoc in the government's invented language, Newspeak).

It is under the control of a privileged elite of the Inner Party that persecutes individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrime.

I nearly was thrown out of a dinner party years ago for suggesting that Canada’s Olympic athletes should be going to the Olympics to aim to get the gold.

How wrong I was. Yet, I felt I was speaking the truth.

In competition, the name of the game is to win. Yet my fellow diners thought the name of the game was to have a good experience.

If you want to have a good experience, don’t to it on my dime.

As a result of simply pandering softly to our original intent to hunt, gather and well, frankly, win, we have encountered a watered-down society where opinions and feelings override fact and truth.

Just last week, I was reading an article about a sick trend where people mutilate their bodies to the point where they become “disabled."

They feel like they would like to be disabled. Far from being considered an illness, this is now marching toward another form of gender almost “trans disabled."

We pander to the feelings of twisted minds and create empathy by having high level academic professors discover why we need to empathize with these people and even give them a title.

That I believe is post truth. It is a world where if you have an opinion that may make someone “feel” uncomfortable, you are the bad person.

I grew up in a time that followed an era of exploring truth. It was an era of debaters and orators. An era where you learned something by listening to debates and about reading the opposing side of a thought or discussion.

It was an era where the objective was to find the truth.

I don’t think it is a social media phenomenon, I think we have been heading in this direction for a very long time.

God help us if we are marching along a path of throwing out the truth in favour of manipulation, lies, and pandering to feelings. 

‘Bout time we grew up.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

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