And Nothing But The Truth
Now that’s a tricky one, but give it another shot and read the sentence above one more time - this time really slowly - and it will suddenly make sense. Oh yes, our old buddy Aristotle really knew how to twist our minds, no doubt about that. So let’s talk about some heavy stuff that has bothered us human beings ever since the dawn of our existence upon this earth. Namely, what is the truth, what should we truly believe, and most important of all, who should we believe? If we were to ask what makes us special within the animal kingdom, it definitely must be our constant search for truth whether it’s objective, subjective or universal. This is primarily what keeps us evolving as highly intelligent species. In order to find answers, communication is our strongest tool.
Now this is perhaps not something you go deliberating about very often, but we all have our moments now and then, wondering about these sorts of things. It’s in our genes, our longing for understanding the surrounding and very complex world. Whether we think about it or not, it’s still something we face every single day. We must constantly choose what and who to believe. In the old days, the priests, teachers, professors, doctors and other highly educated individuals were our authorities, guiding the rest of us on the path of truth. They had the knowledge and answers to what was right and wrong, good or bad; they were the gurus and masters. Today in our postmodern society, a very popular view is that truth is something relative and specifically individual. No one can tell you what to believe anymore - it’s up to you to decide. When you think
Today in our postmodern society we're all becoming more and more skeptical about everything and everyone.
about it, it kind of makes sense that we’re all becoming skeptical about everything and everyone. Ever since the internet became a part of our daily lives, we are literally drowning in the flow of information. We are practically surrounded 24-7 by media reports, by
TV, radio and daily newspapers and traditional advertisements are changing character in all possible ways in order to keep their credibility. So how do we approach all of this?
According to European Trusted Brands, a survey conducted by Reader’s Digest which includes 15 European countries, around half of the Europeans said that they don’t trust the information they find on the internet. The most positive nation towards information coming from the internet is Poland and the most negative is Germany. The credibility of traditional media like TV, radio and daily newspapers differed strongly between countries. Swedes topped the list with 82 percent trusting the information they get from
television and the radio whereas the rest of the Europeans are much more skeptical towards these types of media. But who exactly do we trust once we find credible sources on the internet? Well, it’s definitely not information coming from “experts” or companies but regular people online with subjective opinions about everything and nothing. At least we would like to think they are subjective because why on earth would a regular Joe (?), unknown to the rest of the world, lie about what he or she thinks about a specific product? This is definitely something advertisers have realized and are taking advantage of. They offer popular bloggers gifts or money to make their products visible to blog readers. Of course, the whole idea is to trick the readers into believing that it’s not about advertising but bloggers’ personal opinions. If we like someone, we trust them, even if it’s a person we’ve never met. That’s why celebrities will always be a successful factor in a trustworthy advertisement. Of course our naivety won’t last very long - it never does - so advertisers will have to find new ways of making us believe that their products are definitely the best.
Of course, questioning the information we face each day is a good thing, but is our skepticism slowly turning into paranoia? It seems that once we’ve made up our minds about what to believe, nothing and no one can make us think differently. We will always be able to find information that confirms our beliefs. In other words, there’s a truth for each and every one of us, but how will that affect us as social beings in the long run? It’s hard to know; the only truth is that we will never stop seeking it.
Words: Paulina Niedzwiecka
Design: Giuliano Garonzi
Model: Thomas Hedlund