Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-16, NRSV
Location: First preached at Grace Presbyterian Church of Ft. Worth, Florida
We live in a world today that is framed by conflict methodology. What is worse is that this conflict is intentionally created so that people can make money off of you. People want you to fight. And, the facts are, when you allow them to bait you into fighting you give them power over you.
Now how does that happen? Well it depends on the medium. Many Internet sites, for instance, make money by showing you ads. So if they show you provocative – conflict-oriented material that can get you to fight with people in the comments it benefits them. Because the longer you stay on their page – the more impressions the ads on their pages get and thus the more money they make.
The system is very much the same with television. If they can create a problem that you are concerned about – you’ll keep watching their channel – their ratings go up – and thus so do the cost of what they charge advertisers for commercials.
Generally the same goes for talk radio or getting people to buy your book.
Additionally, it is a fact that on the internet there are fake news sites – websites that all the people who run them do is deliberately propagate misinformation to drive web traffic and thus – make money off of people’s ignorance.
And this problem is then compounded in the American political system because any politician can just say that sites that oppose them, even the legitimate ones, are creating sensationalist “fake news.” The problem is that the politicians aren’t completely wrong. Because, given the way the system is set up, even factual news stories have to have a title that grabs the reader’s attention. And then they have to be snarky and sensationalist enough to keep your attention. And so this lends itself to a culture of melodramatic reality TV, accusatory politics, and click-bait journalism.
So observing this it doesn’t take long to deduce that, fundamentally, there is a problem with the system. And the problem is that the system rewards people who can shock people enough to get others to vehemently disagree.
Reality Changing Observations:
Q1. What are the dangers of people using conflict methodology to make money off or people?
Q2. How does understanding that people make money off of encouraging you to be in conflict methodology inform what media you consume?
Q3. What are current points of conflict methodology that you face in your daily life?