The Satan’s spoor of television is the internet

Football Fan

Any readers anticipating an article condemning the invention of the wheel need trouble themselves no further: this essay examines the impact of modern technology from the reference point of the invention of television (John Logie Baird in 1926) – an invention still seeking an application – to the third decade of the twenty-first century.

The Trojan horse which introduced television to the masses was the late Queen’s coronation in 1953.

One need only need look at early television programmes featuring for example John Betjeman, Cyril Fletcher, John Freeman, Gilbert Harding and others to reflect on whether this medium contributed constructively to Lord Reith’s aspirations to educate, inform and entertain. What’s My Line? with Lady Isobel Barnet was hardly likely to educate or inform.

The insidious influence of television was, and remains, an indispensable means of manipulating an under-educated, credulous, infantilised and gullible population anaesthetised by soap operas.

The Satan’s spoor of television is the internet which provides easy, cheap and instant communication and entertainment.  The internet is an ideal medium subliminally to foster group think; ideas no matter how outlandish and opinions no matter how manifestly erroneous circulate in the ether instantly, frequently going unchallenged either as to their veracity or their logical value. Opinions are, almost as a matter of course, presented as facts – for example the positions adopted on climate change especially by those holding extreme views (Just Stop Oil) and are disseminated indiscriminately.

More generally technology, in the form of the mobile telephone and its variants, fosters and maintains an obsession with constant communication. How many figures in public life have lived to regret the indiscreet tweet; and how many of us lesser mortals wish that we had not responded to that message quite so promptly?

Modern technology is importunate: there is an unspoken but universal assumption that we all subscribe (both literally and metaphorically) to its insidious influence.  We are enjoined to use our apps to gain access to a broad range of services; and you cannot read a QR code without a mobile telephone.

Whilst the convenience of modern technology plainly appeals to many, it certainly does not appeal to all especially perhaps to those who hold “Absolutely the wrong opinion about everything”.

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1 Comment on The Satan’s spoor of television is the internet

  1. Instant 24/7 gratification.
    Instant 24/7 indoctrination.
    See Konrad Lorenz, “Civilized Man’s Eight Deadly Sins” (1974).
    Google: Internet Effects on the Brain (2022).