We live in an age of fake news. Fake interactions on social media. People thinking success defines them. People living up to a fake image of themselves.
This seems to be the theme of the day. It frustrates me tremendously.
I was watching the World Cup over the weekend and felt the same uneasy feeling. I saw the soccer players (football if you’re in Europe) continually diving and faking injuries in order to “win” free kicks. Often they would pretend to be brutally injured when they’d hardly been impacted at all.
I can understand that players have the incentive to do what’s required to win the game. However, I don’t understand why diving and faking injury hasn’t been outlawed by FIFA.
Perhaps more to the point, I don’t understand why there isn’t a massive public outcry against this kind of sportsmanship.
In my view, sport matters. It’s entertainment, and we’re lucky to have a global game that brings the world together.
Soccer players are superstars, and how they conduct themselves on the field has a significant impact on culture around the world. Yet we’re seeing our superstars continually distort the truth.
As a society we’re collective participating in this distortion of the truth by accepting it in sport. I believe this has two major repercussions:
- We allow our emotions to guide our belief system. As a supporter of a particular team, I’ll passionately believe my player who dived deserves a free kick.
- We end up passively accepting lies and manipulation in the leaders of our society. For example, we accept that politicians will never tell us the truth.
These behaviours end up becoming ingrained in our collective mindsets. We operate with an unconscious bias towards whatever we emotionally want to believe. We become unhinged from our senses, from the faculties we’ve been given at birth that are meant to be used for interpreting reality.
You may think this is a trivial example. But distortion of the truth is one of the major issues our society faces.
When we allow soccer players – our sporting heroes – to distort the truth, even when we know it’s false, we’ll end up seeing this emerge in many other areas of our lives.
I wrote this article after posting about the issue of diving and fake injuries on Facebook. See my post below, and join in on the conversation!
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