Just because we celebrated the 31st night and moved to a new calendar, the issues of 2020 won’t magically disappear. 2020 was definitely hectic, chaotic, and unpleasant for everyone. But it also humbled us and taught us the importance of our loved ones and the value of appreciating every little thing in life. After this rollercoaster year, it’s only natural to look forward to a better new year. But guess what, 2021 has already failed us.
We still don’t know what exactly 2021 will bring to the table, but its first week definitely wasn’t what people expected. From the US Capitol building getting raided by Trump supporters to the heart-wrenching Indonesian plane-crash, the past few days of 2021 have been absolutely terrifying and exhausting. At such stressful and difficult times, many people use dark humor and memes as a coping mechanism. A majority of them shows how 2020 is just the trailer of 2021, and that 2021 is the real deal.
A minimum of 5 people lost their lives from the storming of the US Capitol. A 35-year-old US Air Force veteran named Ashli Babbitt was shot dead by the police. Another 3 people lost their lives from medical emergencies. Lastly, a police officer named Brian Sicknick passed away due to injuries, and 14 more officers were injured.
Around 68 people have been arrested for taking part in the riots. The FBI is working to identify everyone who took part in the events. Lots of people are demanding for Trump to resign. Also, many believe that he’s the one responsible for the events because when he lost the presidential election, he claimed about voter fraud and other unfounded theories.
At the present, it seems like people have become vulnerable to conspiracy theories than any other time in history. Evidence both support and contradict this. The main reasons for the rise and proliferation of conspiracies are the internet and lack of trust in authorities.
Joseph M. Pierre, a professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA explained why people tend to believe in conspiracies and how they spread. He suggests that the influence of informational technologies like TV, the internet, radio, and newspapers is a major reason why people are more likely to believe in conspiracies. The other reason for the vulnerability towards misinformation is mistrust in authoritative sources of information. However, conspiracy theory experts like Joe Uscinski believes otherwise.
Professor Pierre’s advice on how to deal with conspiracy theorists is presenting them with trusted sources of information. He stated: “Until you can find some common ground there, the meaningful debate will probably be elusive”.