Our perceptions are influenced by the input to our senses, including the reactions and opinions of others.  Marketing is based on this, trying to repeat their message often enough that you come to accept their message as reality or part of the way in which you perceive the world.  Media uses this as well, as do politicians and political groups, which skate the not so invisible line between free speech and propaganda.  And so do Google, Yahoo, Twitter, and Facebook, by presenting you with the information they want you to see, presenting it in such a way that you believe that is the reality of things and not just one facet.  So in this world where we are bombarded by messages, shouts and whispers that attempt to selectively create a world view out of nothing so that we will act on that world for their benefit, what do we do?

As humans we like to frame discussions in black and white imagery, all or nothing absolutes because they make decisions easier and help us make sense of chaos.  However there are very few things in life that are absolute and our perceptions of the world are almost never so.  Of course we won’t know until the end of our lives whether our perceptions of things remained constant or changed, so something to look forward to, but in the meantime, how to we manage to live our lives in the bombardment of senses that is 2011?  It’s easy to go black/white on the issue.  Unplug and go off the grid, live completely green and leave no footprint or immerse yourself completely in message and create an entire new life based on media message and interactive social networking.  Both are plausible, both have their advocates and I personally like the idea of living off grid and getting back to my body and mind’s natural rhythms and a more harmonious lifestyle.

However, it’s alot of hard work and I don’t think I could give up my shows or my hobbies, to tell you the truth.  So somewhere in the middle is where I land, as do most people.  The question is, do we land passively, allowing the world to fill us with perceptions of reality and leave it at that?  Or do we choose to question what we are told, what is reality vs what is reported, what makes the news vs what doesn’t?  Do we invest our time and energy in living in community vs networking?  Who do we trust?  Can we trust any longer?  I believe that we have the ability to create our own perceptions and that we should attempt to do so through our own senses.  Technology is a great tool, but it is only that.  We are the best judge of reality and create our own perceptions. Let’s become active in choosing who we trust and what we believe.