April 13, 2022 — Shani Shoham

There is an aptly-coined term in psychology known as “the illusion of choice.” It describes a mental state of happiness that occurs when a person who is presented with options believes they have control over their own actions - and can exercise free will in their choice - despite not knowing that the ‘options’ they were given will both yield the exact same result. 

This ‘illusionary choice’ is what viewers are being given when consuming today’s mainstream media. On every platform, we are being bombarded with narratives from either side of a radical spectrum, and are being asked to subscribe to a choice. Red pill or blue pill, Republican or Democrat, racist or activist, vaxxed or unvaxxed, CNN or Fox News. 

When one discovers that nearly all media in the US is monopolized by just SIX conglomerates, each fiscally and inextricably intertwined with the other - it becomes clear that those aforementioned “options” are merely smoke and mirrors. The media presents their audiences with options to give them the illusion of control, when the true goal is to merely provide entertainment, all the while filling their pockets, pushing their agendas, and keeping the “house” divided. The concentration of all media channels in the hands of so few obviously raises many ethical questions about journalistic integrity, objectivity, biases, and censorship in the mainstream media in the US. 

The people of America are catching on. Every year fewer people watch the news, with many people citing both a lack of trust and concerns for their mental and emotional health, as their reasons for tuning out. Our avowed hope as we enter the year 2022, is that this illusion continues to fade as we awaken to the power of consciousness, conscientiousness, and community. 

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