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Facebook, Conspiracy Theories and Dementia





Facebook is loaded with conspiracy

Over the years I have noticed a disturbing trend.  The number of conspiracy theories shared on Facebook has been rising over time.  In fact, one reason for my departure from the site was the number of conspiracy style posts being shared by my friends and family.

My wife has been calling her parents recently, and every time she calls, they are in confusion over the pandemic and if it is real or fake.  They start every conversation with how much they hate wearing masks and how they believe that masks are bad.  They continue, going into how the entire pandemic has been created to get control of people so that they get a vaccine.  The vaccine, they say, contains a microchip that will track them and possibly have the power to end their life if the government needs to control the population.

I know many people who are terrified of chemtrails and say that it is another form of population control.  The idea is that these trails of condensation (generally known as contrails) contain poisons and toxins that slowly kill people.  Then there is the whole fluoride conspiracy, which states that fluoride was created to deliberately poison people.  As if a government would want to weaken itself and destroy its own people.  

Conspiracy Theories and Facebook

Yet, one can not easily argue with conspiracy, and if one tries, there is always a hazy "answer," or the phrase "that's what they want you to think."  Facebook has paved the way toward deep conspiracy being spread throughout the world, and enough people are hungry enough to eat it up.  Yet, these only take away from the enjoyment of life, as I have seen with family members and others who live in fear over what could be happening behind the scenes by a so-called "deep state."

Conspiracy begets conspiracy.  The easier you believe one conspiracy, the easier it becomes to believe others.  Yet, there are some people who are getting rich off of it, bringing in huge amounts of money from ad revenue on their YouTube channels and websites.  

Facebook has been the target of an ad boycott in recent days due to how it moderates content.  Facebook has made some headway with how it treats so-called "fake news" but this does not stop it from being shared, or how people say that Facebook is just doing what the world wants it to do when blocking these so-called "true" conspiracies from being shared.  Again, that's the problem with conspiracy theories:  People will say that others just want to suppress the truth and the people who are in the minority who believe them are in a "secret club" of those who know the truth.  

In a recent New York Times article about the ad boycott, it was said:  “Facebook is a double-edged sword. You don’t want to support it, but you have to use it in order to reach a large audience.”

That delicious but somewhat expensive brand of ice cream known as Ben & Jerry’s pushed Facebook on Tuesday “to take stronger action to stop its platforms from being used to divide our nation, suppress voters, foment and fan the flames of racism and violence, and undermine our democracy.”  Yet, read deeper, even this statement has its own political overtones.  

There is no question that Facebook is dividing the country even further than ever before.  It is too easy to "share" your all-important view (or shove it down the throats of others) and do so in more aggressive ways than ever before.  Facebook enjoys this, because when people argue on the site, they see more ads and use the product more than ever.  People become addicted to the arguments, post their own thoughts (many of which are based on conspiracy), and find it harder to leave.  In this way, Facebook maintains its stranglehold of much of the internet.  Well played.

Facebook and Dementia

Is Facebook A Portal to Dementia?

I wrote about my precious in-law a while back and I strongly believe that he is a prime candidate for dementia.  I have seen how he has sunk deeper into conspiracy over the past couple of decades, especially after going back to Facebook.  Many of his friends claim that using a mask is a part of a government conspiracy and that it is a portent of a soon-coming "new world order."  Reading conspiracy heavy books like The Secret Terrorists and The Enemy Unmasked by "Pastor" Bill Hughes doesn't help, either.  

While Facebook may not be a cause of dementia, it doesn't help someone who is already predisposed or who is in the early stages of it.  My precious in-law is not alone.  Many people are crawling down this rabbit hole of dementia because they do not take time to actually think about what they read.  Instead, many take everything that appears on Facebook at face value.   Facebook has been unable to police such posts (and never will be able to), and even if they could, conspiracy theorists would say that Facebook is trying to suppress the truth (I have seen this being said by another in-law).  

If one spends day after day taking in this kind of information, they are going to be shaped in the image of what they read.  By beholding we become changed.  Many know this to be the truth, but few actually take time to really think about the large implications of this law of life.  If you spend your waking moments taking in the negative posts that Facebook users churn out, then you are going to think negatively.  We saw this with the old man and Facebook.  His life had turned more negative than ever before by constantly being on Facebook.  He even realized this was the case and knew he should quit.  But, although he tried, he could not get himself to stand up from his chair and walk away.  He was logged into Facebook from the moment he said he was leaving until the moment he announced his return.  But, I must hand it to him, he knew that he had a problem.  He was just far too powerless to do anything about it.  Facebook has consumed him.  There is still hope for him, though.  There is hope for anyone who wants to quit anything in life.  You just have to be willing to push yourself like you have never pushed yourself before when it comes to conquering addiction. 

Facebook is not good for a person who is predisposed to Dementia

For this man, and for many others, Facebook is an addiction.  It is an addiction that has huge real-life implications.  Other people have to deal with the bear in the house.  Other people have to deal with the anger that results from Facebook.  Other people have to deal with the crazy talk that comes from these conspiracy theories.  They get passed on and, sadly, some people are just easy prey for such thoughts.  Some people are like sponges when it comes to conspiracy.   Many of these people are on Facebook, and Facebook is an EXCELLENT place for many to spread this stuff.  There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of groups that are ground zero for different conspiracy theories.  Today, perhaps more than ever before, that garbage is being shared and disseminated around like wildfire.  

Do you know someone who is stoking the fires of dementia?  Do they spend way too much time on Facebook?  Do you think that there could be a correlation between their crazy views and their Facebook use?  I have seen it myself, and I am sure I am not alone.  I know that I am powerless to change the life of anyone who does not want to change, but I know that I can learn from them and change my own life.  Perhaps you are willing to do the same?  How else do we learn, if not from the mistakes of others?  Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

What is Dementia?

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