(reading time: 3 minutes / reflection time: 3 minutes)
Cultivating a deep perspective requires an unrelenting focus on the subject of our attention.
However, in the age of social-media clicks, likes, fans, reactions, and scores, are we actually able to cultivate depth of perspective? Are we living in a world where deeper reflection might increasingly seem to be, feel as if, a mere waste of time?
There are two streams of development right now:
1) Each human being has greater and greater access to the breadth of our world’s perspectives.
2) We have a greater and greater proclivity to choose and bypass what we want to hear, based purely on titillation, boredom, insecurities and fears.
So the net effect?
We have a highly informed, global perspectives that increasingly, simultaneously, lack maturity and temperament. We know what’s going on with the world…but are out of touch with who we are beyond our “sound-bite impulses”.
Now what I’m describing, obviously, is a generalization. But as it stands, as the original growth officer of Facebook recounts in the video above, there appears to be something fundamentally broken with the architecture of the Web. The intentions behind our favorite websites invariably have been to hook us, not mature us. Repeated studies show a distinct correlation between social-media use, addiction symptoms and mental illness.
The Web of today is sick…and efforts to simply bring even more information to our fingertips, curated by metrics that reflect and reinforce nothing more than our shallow emotional impulse, will not heal it. We do require a new fundamental paradigm for engaging with the Web and social media, and its place in our lives. What that is we don’t yet know…but one that enhances maturity and reflection, not impulsivity.
(Thanks Raffy Guttierez and other friends for conversations).