By Buddyonline77 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
There is a hidden epidemic overtaking the USA, and it does not involve mosquitos. My initial exposure to it occurred during the first Gulf War where my former Brother-in-Law was deployed. We spent hours in front of the television waiting for some action and lamenting the dangers our loved one was probably facing at this very moment. My exes family cursed out those “Iraqi ragheads” who were thought of as demons come straight up from the pits of Hell. We began to use the same military lingo spoken on CNN, attended prayer vigils for all of “our heroes,” and welcomed them home from the desert with parades. We practically worshiped them.
What happened next was in large part due to the constant barrage of new media. It was facilitated by the political leaders who saw a chance to cash in on the spoils of war. A subtle message was seeping into the American psyche. It replaced our concept of patriotism with unrestrained nationalism, our humanitarian leadership with exploitation, and our penchant for ingenuity with the proclivity to manipulate. The endless hours spent studying military strategy and media capability was providing us with new paths to power. It wasn’t long before our quest for an ever-elusive title of “Hero” transformed for some people into a mostly unheard of mental disorder called Sociopathy.
In subsequent years, we saw it manifest in people who started posing as veterans of the Gulf War and then law enforcement officers. They sought unearned admiration and respect via social media where they surrounded themselves with an entourage who believed the deception and provided them with credibility. When things didn’t work out according to plan, and due to their inability to tolerate any challenges to their self-appointed authority, they became dictators within their virtual worlds.
In their minds, they only hear what they want to believe, and social rules only apply when they are beneficial in maintaining the facade. Fear is the weapon they prefer for controlling anybody who dares to speak out against them. In typical narcissistic style, they use social media to devalue, discredit, discard the defectors. They demand divisiveness and provoke trouble to keep their social media war game fresh and interesting. But their craving for power and excitement is never satiated, so they must consistently up-the-ante of their Dramaville stakes.
Today’s sociopaths are striving towards a new level of power; one that can be found within the pillars of human society. Whether it involves belittling educated people, trolling to further disrupt political processes or radicalizing religious tenets, they excel at their game. So how can we save mankind from this meddling madness? We do not have a single key to their defeat, but we have learned a thing or two from their own psychopathological patterns.
- Education to help identify and treat sociopathic behavior. We must study them in a similar manner to how they study us.
- Prevention methods that facilitate effective interventions before they are able to perfect their devious methods. And a top notch mental health system.
- Self-reflection on our own preconceived notions and social biases, noting how they are being used to ensnare us as unwitting participants of the twisted fantasies.
- Accountability from the social media hosts and community citizens who enable the sociopath’s game. Quit allowing yourselves to be used as stupid pawns!
Take a look at your social media accounts, and consider how easy it is to wreak havoc upon them if you were inclined to do so. Note how the “popular” participants react to those who voice any differing opinions. Take 15 minutes to browse a few accounts that have different political and social ideologies than the ones you subscribe to. Compare and contrast the methods being employed to hook people onto either one side, or the other. Do you see any patterns being employed to win people over, like the one used in the narcissistic cycle? A great place to start would be social media posts about the controversial black vs. blue lives matter issue.