Friday, March 24, 2023 | Ramadan 1, 1444 H
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Unauthorised: the world through pink lenses


Sonia Ambrosio - - Hard to know what is real or fake these days. Not long ago, the real fake was limited to unauthorised copies of brand merchandise such as handbags, clothes and perfumes. Nowadays, the syndrome of fakes is taking over our lives. From fake news to how we perceive ourselves in the virtual world, it is all about ‘good imaging’ with videos, tweets and whatever paraphernalia available to display the bright and positive sides of most issues.

Few news organisations — digital or otherwise — are showing the real colour of our world. Sure enough, we cannot take bad news anymore. We have reached a point of saturation with far too many talks on unemployment, taxation, diseases, modern slavery, human trafficking, corruption and poverty.

Unfortunately, the race for political, geographic and economic power is filling the heart and the mind of those who — in theory — should be looking to safeguard the interest of nations. Instead, we witness the veto of investigations on chemical gassing against innocent people; we witness the slow killing of a population due to humanitarian aid blockade. We learn – after deals are done - about natural resources being handed into ambitious bidders. Making money out of people’s disgrace is the tendency — and that is not an algorithmic trend.

The health sector is no longer about saving lives and providing medical treatment. It has turned into an area that works within loops of favouritism — especially when there is no competition for better services. At the end of the circle, someone is making money on controlling the flow of the commercialisation of health care and, the availability of medication.

Political and financial gains on people’s health and wellbeing become just another game — where the targets are not fake 3D human figures, but real victims.

Where is the media in all this? The media is focusing on the type of shoes the US first lady is wearing, or on the wedding of sports stars, and the success of Despacito — not on those who make money out of illegal migrants.

The media industry is contributing to brainwash everybody with the help of social media applications — everybody now has its own agenda: we live in a fragmented world. The media is focusing on banalities and topics that catch the eyes. The traditional media is becoming subservient to the new media– doesn’t matter if social or political issues are relevant or not, as long the topic is trending.

However, trending doesn’t translate into more advertising revenue. Rough times are affecting traditional media as well as the digital world. Money is getting concentrated in a few hands — and these hands will do anything to keep hold of it.

Money and power walk in parallel with the media as an important player and endorsement of positive and bright events — even though there are dark clouds on the horizon.

We are losing the ability to think as smart individuals. We follow the herd without questioning. Our ignorance is a blessing to some — and the media has a big role in this. Making war, manipulating weapons, brainwashing people, ignoring corruption and turning a blind eye to serious issues is resulting in catastrophic consequences, but so what?

Within years, we will be travelling out to space. We have polluted our beautiful earth, exploited it to the maximum, and then we will go to the next phase of destruction with the aim of studying new planets. While science and technology are blessings, human ethics should be a priority. We still live in a real world with diseases, poverty, and wars — even though most of the media colour it with pink lenses.

We focus on the good-looks while ignoring the issues. We are becoming copiers, not producers.

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