I was a sucker to headlines (no doubt distributed by the alcohol industry).
I will confess that there were times that I knew drinking was NOT healthy for my soul, in body and mind, yet…a headline claiming statements like red wine contributes to heart health would click a switch in my brain to *justify* having a few drinks…. cause ya know…
Annie Grace shares some things in Day 20: Our Headline Culture and the Science of Sharing to help my brain rewire itself.
The Science of Sharing says that people share information that gives them social currency. “That means we share things that we think will make us look good in other people’s eyes” (p.161). It has to fit our belief system and then put us in a positive light…that’s what Annie suggests *we* will share with others. As a result, positive articles, jokes, slogans, cartoons…about it being hip and cool to drink are shared much more often than the truth about the negative effects on alcohol on our lives…the soul crushing aspects of booze.
Because it gets shared so often, over and over again, the headlines get ingrained and become an “alternate truth”. We use those headlines to make us feel good about the decision to drink. I was totally pulled into this until I educated myself with new perspectives and different mindsets.
Manny reflects on Day 20 of The Alcohol Experiment (p. 164) “Alcohol is the new cigarette. My parents both smoked and typically had high balls after a long day. It was the sophisticated, intelligent lifestyle. both my parents died of lung cancer”….Now smoking is considered unwise…and people who smoke are viewed as having a problem. Manny states: “Years from now, we may be saying the same things about alcohol….”
I *gave up* social media about a year ago. It simply drained me. The social currency was very unsettling for me and revealed things about my “supposed friends” that I found sad and to easy to judge. In many ways, social media platforms feel manipulated and contrived – fake. This chapter gave me some insight and awareness as to how the machine works behind the scenes….and how “fake” information gets repeated enough that it becomes culturally acceptable.