RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

writing for godot

Things That Are Scarier Than the Election

Written by ElaineDecker   
Tuesday, 28 January 2020 14:38

Like many Americans, I find the discussions surrounding the upcoming presidential election distressing. The prospect of who might win in November is a major source of anxiety for me.

Some people cope with their fears by going to a shrink, but that’s not an option for me. Those professionals are inundated with new clients; plus I’m on a fixed income. I’ve been considering other ways to address this problem. I’ve come up with a surefire way to stop worrying about who will be our next president. I’m gathering ideas that are even scarier than the possible (or—bite my tongue—probable) election results.

I considered fear of an economic meltdown and spiraling health care costs, but they cause me only mild agita. Besides, those are either cyclical, or their trajectory can be altered with committed changes in policy. If I want to block out the election process, I need to focus on worries that will be irreversible.

The first one that came to mind that met that criterion is our environment. And by “our” I mean the world’s. The consequences of climate change are just one aspect of what gives me a knot in my stomach. There’s also air pollution, water contamination and the destruction of habitats for endangered species. Denial of global warming is just the tip of the environmental destruction iceberg. The rollback of regulations that were put into place to protect our world is making the prospects for our future even scarier. This is definitely something to keep me awake at night.

Here’s something else to keep me up: fake news. I’m not talking about the countless lies that are promulgated on Facebook and certain cable channels. I’m terrified about the direction that improved technology is taking us. Video editing capabilities are advancing rapidly. They will soon reach the point where even the most experienced techies will not be able to determine if a piece of taped footage has been altered.

I’m not talking about those ham-fisted memes any of us can tell have been doctored. In the future, even the experts won’t be able to detect fake pieces. That means one party to an argument will be able to put someone’s face on someone else’s body. They’ll be able to cobble together audio of a person’s voice to say things they never uttered in reality. This scares me even more than 1984’s Big Brother. Simply put, none of us will know what news is true and what’s fake.

If I reach the point where I’m inured to threats to our environment (unlikely) and to fabricated reality (a distinct possibility), there will always be mega companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook to set off my alarm bells. These giants are controlling more and more of our daily lives. From the products we use and consume to the information to which we’re exposed, a handful of Goliaths are spreading their tentacles ever deeper into our existence.

They’re increasingly forcing mom and pop operations out of business; not just brick and mortar stores, but also smaller on-line companies. Why “shop small” if you can get it cheaper on Amazon, and delivered quickly, at that? And you can’t easily buy from a local supplier if you can’t find them when you search using a monopolistic engine.

The end point of this control is that eventually we could all be doing the equivalent of driving black Ford Model-T’s in many aspects of our lives. Trading choice for convenience. And we won’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late. Trivia note: from 1914 through 1925, the only color the Model T came in was black. If Facebook continues to expand, we may be unable to escape the manipulation of our social media lives as well. Scary prospects indeed.

So here are three trends that could easily paralyze me if I contemplate them too much. Their one redeeming quality is that they keep me from stressing over the upcoming presidential election. Right now that’s a swap I’m willing to accept. Feel free to make suggestions of other scary thoughts. November is a long way away.

Copyright 2020 Elaine M. Decker

Article by Elaine M. Decker your social media marketing partner
Email This Page


THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.