Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Social media create illusion of environmental awareness, expert says

Mexico City, May 9 (EFE).– Posts shared on social media promoting environmental awareness create the illusion of enlightenment, but they conceal an underlying desire for personal satisfaction and an easing of conscience, psychologist Ricardo Trujillo told EFE on Wednesday.

The professor at Mexico’s National Autonomous University’s psychology department said that well-intentioned ideas about responsible consumption posted on social media are “actually a sham,” an ephemeral act to ease the conscience of a society pursuing an economic model that eliminates any chance of change.

Fotografía del 7 de mayo de 2018, cedida por la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), que muestra al psicólogo Ricardo Trujillo, en Ciudad de México (México). La información propagada a través de las redes sociales fomenta una sensación de respeto por el medioambiente que realmente es ilusoria, siendo un sofisticado maquillaje que disimula las verdaderas intenciones: la satisfacción personal y el alivio de conciencia, dijo a Efe Trujillo. EFE

“The capitalist society still has externalities,” Trujillo said. “We can recycle, change and improve, but the pollution system is not only based on what is generated at home but also on what industry puts out.”

Trujillo added that purchasing “green” and biodegradable products or posting a picture next to an endangered animal ultimately contributes to consumption – responsible or otherwise – which feeds the capitalist society.

To illustrate, he cited the example of the cellphone, which helps spread this information, while at the same time generating “an enormous amount of pollutants.”

Therefore, in order to avoid the over-exploitation of the environment, we would need to “dismantle the whole industrialized capitalist system,” which society would probably not agree to do.”

Trujillo added that mankind sees nature as a kind of “lost mother,” which humans treat kindly from time to time to rid themselves of guilt.

“It is a sort of longing … for the place where we feel well-balanced, since we live (surrounded) by technology, cars and pollution,” he said. “That is why we dream of returning to that nature.”