We were lied to
Some of you clicked here sharpening your pitchforks, or preparing your torches. This is a prime example of what I'm about to talk about. It doesn't even matter the content now. People are just raring to go for some exploitive effort that leads to a divide that becomes nearly irreparable.
You may have noticed that I've become fairly quiet when it comes to internet "communities" and social media in the past couple years. I've reached a level of digital fatigue that has destroyed my love for the internet. While I continue to roam the web daily, not only because my job lives there, but because all aspects of our lives are entangled there.
When the internet grabbed its initial footing, it brought about great promise. It introduced us to communities that couldn't be created before. It brought a wealth of knowledge to your fingertips. If reduced travel time between information conveyance to nearly an instance. We were all enamored by the ability to find like-minded individuals on any topic of interest we had. The world was at our fingertips. Imagine what we could do with such unfettered access to information!
Initially, with the Internet bubble expanding, everyone had to get on there. Companies, and individuals alike, had to stake their claim on the "Information Superhighway". Everyone needed the connections. At that time, the Internet was buzzing with potential.
Present day, the Internet has been destroyed, or at least the idea has been. Communities, designed to bring people together, have been exploited for corporate gain. Devices designed to get you away from the desk have created zombies. Political pundits utilize these communities to divide and shape platforms. Media profits off the exploitation of information in order to exercise an agenda. Corporations hammer at you for every nickel and dime. All the while, your information is being collected to be used against you.
We've been straight up lied to!
The Internet is a gorgeous landscape of amazing capabilities. But just as with everything else on this planet. If money can be made from it, it'll be milked until it's a husk. Then the husk will be processed to be sold as well. How often have you seen entire families sitting in the same room with their faces in some sort of device? We've built a tool that brings people together while eliminating the need for true connections. Social media is a solution for a problem that didn't exist. Corporations now have new solutions to the problems generated by said solution.
Throughout all of this, we are literally tearing our world to shreds. There are new cultural identities being introduced on a regular basis that divide us into groups to be targeted by these corporate, political, and personal agendas. Your entire life, history and all, is available for someone to review and dissect. You said something, considered questionable now, seven years ago? It's going to be found, and you will be thrown to the court of public opinion.
Human communication is estimated to be 60-70% nonverbal. We have created a generation that is so disconnected from society that the barriers created by misunderstanding has led to the inability to convey information directly.
So what can be done about this? How do we fix this?
I'm ashamed to say I have absolutely no idea, and I have been part of the problem since the start. My livelihood is based on existence of the Internet and these issues. What I've spoken about here is just a drop in the bucket. I believe it's important to step back and review where we are, and what has become of our society due to the introduction of the Internet. Only then, as a whole, can we even start to consider solutions.
Photo by Ludovic Toinel on Unsplash