Former Conspiracy Theory Believer Describes Them As ‘Poison’ Taking Over Your Mind
A TikTok user who found herself stuck deep in the world of conspiracy theories has opened up about her obsession and how she managed to escape it.
Conspiracy theories have been around for generations, but the rise of the internet and social media has served to add fuel to the fire by making sources, ‘expert’ comments and ‘evidence’ much more readily available.
There are whole social media pages dedicated to conspiracy theories, touching on everything from the creation of the pyramids to the supposed FBI agent who monitors your phone, and after getting sucked in to the ideas, TikTok user @ellev8d decided to use her platform to warn others off following in her footsteps.
Check out of her one of her videos below:
@ellev8dConspiracy theories pt 1 ##conspiracy ##trump ##propoganda ##biden ##foryou♬ Epic Emotional – AShamaluevMusic
Elle told her followers she really got wrapped up in conspiracy theories seven years ago, and she remained hooked for about a year. Her introduction came through the far-right conspiracy website InfoWars, created by the far-right radio host Alex Jones, which is what ‘really hooked’ her. Jones has been banned from almost all social media platforms because of his output.
Elle said, ‘I began to be obsessed with it, and I became paranoid.’
The TikToker explained that conspiracy theories are ‘always two steps ahead of reality’, and they can draw people in because they are a way of offering answers – even if they’re not the truth.
She stressed that it’s ‘natural’ to want immediate answers, and that conspiracy theories ‘help those people who are thirsty for answers, who want an explanation to whatever is going on that doesn’t seem right to them.’
However, the TikTok user warned of the dangers of getting in too deep with conspiracy theories, warning people that they are ‘just a pacifier’ rather than offering trustworthy answers.
But this pacifier is spiked with poison. It is taking over your mind. And the more conspiracy theories you start to believe, the more irrational your thoughts become, and you go deep into cognitive dissonance.
No matter what other evidence appears for you or what others tell you, you cannot come out of the denial of the fact that these conspiracy theories are not true. So you’re going to hold tight to them. You’re going to argue them until you turn blue. I get it. I’ve been there.
@ellev8dConspiracy theories pt 3 ##conspiracy ##trump ##propoganda ##biden ##foryou♬ Epic Emotional – AShamaluevMusic
To help get over her ‘obsession’, Elle began to search for solid evidence about the things she was reading on conspiracy sites. She soon learned there was none to be found, and encouraged others to rely on trusted, fact-checked sources rather than unfounded claims.
It can be tough to acknowledge that theories you may have based much of your life around aren’t true, but Elle said that improving her media literacy helped her focus on facts.
Right now a lot of us are like ‘I don’t know who to trust anymore’. I get it. That’s where your work comes in.
To detect misinformation, or biased news even, requires media literacy. That means you need to understand the ins and outs of your source. How are they getting their stories to you? What words are they using? Images? Maybe even famous people? And are they providing legitimate linked sources?
Trusted news exists, You just have to dig sometimes.
Elle noted that conspiracy theories often originate from facts, something that makes them ‘easier to believe’. However, she said they are ‘designed to create a following’, and stressed that you could be a ‘sheep’ to conspiracy theories, or a ‘sheep’ to evidence, data and media literacy.
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