When this advert kept coming up on my facebook timeline, I noticed I felt triggered:
When I’m triggered, I become active. So, I wrote something on facebook to express my thoughts. Following that, I wrote a blog post here, on this very page that you’re reading right now. A few days have passed, I’ve calmed down, got my thoughts together and I’m now much clearer about what happened for me. So, I’ve deleted it all and start again.
At first, I just ranted about me not wishing to see adverts like that, as I believe they talk to my conscience with a bit of a preacher attitude: “Save yourself, but most importantly, save everyone else!” I’m not a person who enjoys unsolicited advice from anyone, really. And I also don’t see myself as a person that doesn’t care about others.
Then – while I was writing – my post turned into a rant about capitalism. Some people immediately applaused me, some were just left confused about what this advert had to do with capitalism. I get that.
I’m going to try again.
I think that the above advert is a phenomenon of our time (playing with people’s fears – I get to that later), but also, at least to me, that facebook has become a powerful tool for those who want to change (shift) people’s opinions. Why? Because this platform reaches billions of people all over the globe.
With lots of money one can pay for advertising that reaches lots of people. So, imagine you’re a millionaire or huge organisation, and you have a mission. Let that mission be, to remind the UK to get the flu vaccine done. Who is the millionaire or rich organisation behind this advert? Probably the NHS. But how do we know who is behind that advert, really? I guess, it’s possible that some pharma companies somehow financially support the NHS to put out such an advert. I don’t want to start a guessing game. I simply don’t know why I’m seeing this and who posted it. It could be that the advertiser is really just caring and believing in the cause. It could also be that this advert is used to maintain or boost the health system as it is. Vaccines save lives. The problem I have with it is that the advert kept popping up on my timeline, although I am not someone who gets a vaccine to avoid having the flu. Yes, I can tell it to go away, but I did see it, and I did feel annoyed. I had my children vaccined when they were young. So, I’m not against vaccines. I just never felt the need to have one against flu, because I’ve had them a lot as a child, they took about 2 weeks to go away, and I haven’t had the flu since I was about 15. I consider my immune system to be fairly good, although I do get the common flu once or twice a year. I’ve been choosing to let my immune system deal with bugs, germs and viruses. Somehow I’ve also been learning from every illness I’ve had. They’ve always stopped me, made me suffer, made me think, made me live more healthily and balanced. I have been growing through physical and mental illnesses through deeper insight and understanding about myself, my habits.
When I saw the advert on the top of this page, I jumped to the conclusion that this is just the beginning of how we are all being told what to do, by addressing our conscience. “Save yourself from the flu, but more importantly, save others from getting it.” How can I do that? How can I save others from getting the flu? If I have signs of a cold, I always consider it could be the flu, so I stay at home, take it easy, throw in the vitamins and/or lay in bed and get through it. Once the symptoms are very mild, I usually get up and going again, slowly, and eventually I expose myself back into the community. On reflection, I feel this is a sensible approach.
Of course, my mind went a step further very quickly: “They’re starting to prepare us for the Covid-19 vaccine.” And that’s why I was triggered, really, I think. If there was a vaccine for Covid-19 available within the next few weeks, I would not want to have it. Why? Because I wouldn’t yet trust it. Why am I panicking about having to get vaccined? Because there are voices out there (mainly on facebook), who make me think I might be forced to be vaccined. Or at least, that I will feel forced to have a vaccine, in order to be able to get a job, become a college or university student, use public transport, and so on. So, I realised that my trigger comes from the fear of being told what to do.
As an adult and a responsible human being, I don’t like to be told what to do, anymore. And, to be quite honest, it has never felt good to be told what to do. You could say, she’s got an authority problem. Yes, I’ve had an authority problem all my life, but I am actually working on it. I don’t like to be told what to do and not. Do you? What I am looking for, all my life, is guidance not stop signs or go signs.
The advert on top of this page, didn’t tell me what to do. But it reminded me that I might be an irresponsible person if I don’t get the flu vaccine. And that, I think is my point. This is what’s lying underneath it for me. I also don’t like to see adverts like that on my timeline, because they seem to drip-feed into me that I am not responsible if I don’t follow the health system’s advice.
What has all that got to do with capitalism? Well – as I said – only very rich people or organisations can afford to put out a thought-provoking advert like the one above. If I, for example, wanted to put out an advert for my cause, which is to stop and reflect on your overall health situation before you buy into pharmacy and pills, I’d need to pluck up a lot of money to create such a powerful advert that reaches millions of people. I can, at the most, invest about 50 pounds per month to boost posts.
Why is this worrying me, and again, what has this got to do with capitalism? Well, it worries me because I believe that the majority of human beings are not aware enough to see through the system of manipulation that has created separation and oppositions in a way that seems to rock the world right now. I am now not sure how safe it is to openly admit that I don’t get vaccinated for the flu. I’m in fear of getting silenced.
Have you seen “The Social Dilemma”? Watch it, because those who co-created facebook and other social media are telling us what it was always about, and that we are all herds of sheep if we don’t wake up.
Wake up to what? I would like to give you the answer to that, but I can’t. For me, waking up means, to start seeing a bigger picture. It means starting to question traditions, habits, world views, so called truths and so on. To me, waking up means to stop being a sheep and becoming an observer and space holder.
Capitalism has led humanity to selfishness, fear, huge gaps of wealth, poverty, inequality and playing with people’s disadvantages.
facebook is one of the platforms on which capitalists can use their power of wealth to keep us in the dark and mislead us. Yes, I agree, it is also a great platform for those who spread the light. facebook is not the enemy. It’s our capitalistic world view. And I could go on about that one. But I’ll do that in another post.
I hope all of this makes sense. Do feel free to comment, but if I get abusive comments I might just disable the comments.