I hope you had a lovely weekend. I did a lot of deep thinking, since I was home alone. I'm feeling an increasing sense of frustration with social media and the internet in general. I'm trying to figure out where I fit into the mix. What is the message that I want to convey? To whom do I wish to convey it? Is there anyone out there who gets what I've got to offer to the conversation? Is there anyone out there who wants to have a conversation anymore? Does my message have resonance?
What's it all about, Alfie?
I'm beginning to feel that Facebook is poison. Big Data has targeted us and drilled us down to our 5000 data points and advertisers, marketers, political parties, even the government are making sure the messaging we receive is pointed towards increasing our bubbles and our divisions. Our thoughts, feelings, likes, dislikes, images, ideas, the very essence of who we is are up for sale. Bots and trolls and fake news are ratcheting up the noise and ratcheting down the civility. We're stuck on the Island of Lost Boys in an endless loop of bias confirmation and angry distraction and it is changing us. Slowly but surely we're losing our humanity. We're distracted and divided. Conversations have devolved into pissing matches. No one listens, they just want until it's their turn to yell. As the vitriol increases, the milk of human kindness dries up further and further.
I want to stay connected, but at what cost?
This isn't some crazy conspiracy theory, it's reality. We are all being monitored and manipulated with increasing accuracy. That should concern everyone. If you want to read more on this topic, you may like my article Big Brother, Big Data, and You. (If you like my essays and videos, please share!)
This week's edition of The Lady Party LIVE is all about judging, bullying, and internet communication. I think this is a topic that needs constant exploring as we traverse this brave new world. It's easy to forget that there are people on the other side of the keyboard, not enemies, not ideologies, not sexual preferences or skin colors or religious beliefs or body shape. There's a certain element of anonymity, or more aptly the illusion of anonymity, online that turns perfectly lovely people into nasty trolls or angry torch bearing mobs with an increasing swiftness. There's a laziness bred from the ease of keeping your browser pointed on Facebook and refusing to dig deeper to be sure the information your sharing or the outrage you're brewing are based in fact. I believe this is not an accident.
I am thinking deeply about leaving Facebook and Twitter behind, so that I can reconnect with reality and with my humanity. I don't want to feel isolated. I don't want to lose connection with the people who matter, but I feel as if Facebook is disconnecting all of us. It's destroying friendships. It's separating families. It's turning friends into enemies.
What to do? I don't know. I'll keep you posted. For now, I'll be hosting The Lady Party LIVE every Friday at 8pm ET, but I may be moving the party to a new venue. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, try to love each other. Remember to be kind. Don't let the propaganda and misinformation make you forget that we are all humans having a human experience seeking connection. Seek real connection, not the kind that is designed to divide us. Listen more, judge less, and look for common threads. Look up from your screen every once and a while. There's an amazing world waiting for you!