The social contract is an agreement between the people living in the nation and the government. In this deal, the country’s citizens give up certain rights or liberties in exchange for protection from the government. This arrangement has been the basis of democratic ideals worldwide, including the United States of America (USA). However, a dangerous threat of miscommunication and polarization could lead to the downfall of this system as well as this nation.
In many cases, the government, an essential aspect of modern society, is misconstrued due to the various conflicting interpretations provided by the media. The government is either doing everything wrong or everything right, depending on the outlet, author, and personal biases portrayed. The exact same topic can be covered in vastly different ways causing confusion amongst the public.
More often than not, especially in political pieces, journalists may blur the lines between opinion and news. No, perhaps not it is not purposefully done, but to grasp the readers of their publications with flashy titles and specific, unique verbiage that might evoke certain emotions, the personal bias roots itself within the article. It may receive extra views and clicks, but this technique prevents the possibility of a complete view of the event. To make matters worse, the articles themselves are not the only factor that creates this clash of strong opposing viewpoints.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are key aspects of the polarization of the general public. A casual like, comment, or any sort of interaction with a news source immediately triggers the system’s algorithm, and the same or similar type of content begins to be funneled straight toward your page. The major issue with this formula is that a one-sided viewpoint will continuously be offered, and no other perspective can be seen. This produces an ill-informed nation of citizens without an awareness of another opposing opinion and it causes a division within the country.
The media’s perception of politics and the government heavily influences the perspectives of everyone. The future of the USA depends on a more diversely informed society dependent on branching and seeking out differing outlooks to avoid hyper-focusing on one standpoint.