April 5, 2017

Put...the...phone...down

Taking a break today on the social media theme, at least personally. Today I'm outsourcing the social media discussion to social media historian Allison Graham in a TedX-related presentation on how social media makes us unsocial.  Following that Paul Miller on his year offline. But is this all just reactionary backlash to societal changes? That's an unfair characterization.

Here's why. Society is changing at a pace faster than ever before, and the rate of change is only going to increase not decrease as years pass. As a result of such a fast paced change, people do not have time to adjust personally. Collectively we do not have the wherewithal to interpret these changes and integrate them into our existing cultural norms at a reasonable place. It's not a technological melting pot we are facing, it's a technological replacement of existing culture. The change has become so quick that framing changes in cultural norms is not possible. Instead the changes frame themselves and society is exposed to a great deal of tangential change that may not always make sense. The generational divide widens as a result and knowledge, morality and perspective to not properly cross the generational divide. The outcome is potentially toxic societal evolution. That's not to say it's guaranteed but certainly the odds of that are higher without a sober reflection on the various implications of the changes we are in the midst of experiencing. Change, unshepherded by our values, is change that is more likely to lead to extremism and isolation as it is to enlightenment. Any crazy idea or innovation can chart its own course unchecked by common sense.

During the knowledge revolution of the era of the printing press, these things did not happen. But the ace was slower. It was centuries between the printing press and Karl Marx or Mein Kampf, neither of which were conducive to a just and prosperous society.

 



It doesn't mean the problem is solved, but at least some people are thinking about it.
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