I think it’s time to declare the internet a failure. At least with respect to its early promises of increased knowledge sharing and positive impact on collaboration.
Decentralization of media, Social media, has increased the rate in which misinformation is being transmitted. Once learned invalid information has to be unlearned and that is a much harder task than educating people with accurate information in the first place.
Social media also appears to have increased the rate that people cluster around misinformation and create specialized groups of individuals that aggressively seek to disseminate their ideas.
The asocial aspect of social media encourages individuals to behave in ways that they normally wouldn’t when face-to-face with people that don’t share their views. It has made intolerant people more belligerent and it has forced tolerant people to adopt less tolerant stances.
The trend seems to be to continue to partition people into increasingly specialized and narrowly focused groups. At the extreme we see individuals with highly individualized views agitating groups with more generally accepted views.
People have become more militant, intolerant, and unaccepting of society. The impact on society is a weakening of collaborative spirit, increased cynicism, and further increases to militancy.
In the mid-90s I was very excited at the opportunities collective information sharing could produce. We’ve realized some of those but I simply didn’t foresee the degradation of democratic values that reveal the best in the humanity.
Social media has increased the ability to create social anxiety by pouring misinformation into peoples’ lives with ideas that they are directly threatened or that there are limits to resources, ideas that are often mere fabrication.
Today we are bombarded daily with absurdity, aggression, fear mongering, and intolerance. It’s as if we unwound the clock a hundred years and abandoned the great freedom experiment. Only now the weapons to resolve differences of opinion are much more destructive.
Hard to be bullish on the consequences of increased nationalism around the globe.
The world does face some difficult issues we need to address but things are not nearly as bad as what has become status quo thinking.
Douglas Gunn, posting to Facebook, 2017-02-20.
March 3, 2017
Filed under: Media, Quotations — Tags: ConfirmationBias, Fail, Internet, SocialMedia — Nicholas @ 01:00
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