One thing I take into ’17, is to be mindful of what I eat. In particular, where the social feed is concerned.
If as the saying goes we become what we eat, then Facebook can be quite one dimensional in terms of diet. While Facebook has a staggering one fifth of the world’s population on its network, I don’t believe I’m getting the social reward or depth and range of that audience.
This past year, it occurs to me how dangerously myopic it can be, creating a posse of like-mindedness, that didn’t welcome in a counter view or create a democratic stage for assessment or debate.
Instead, it’s just a distorted game of pass the parcel, layer upon layer of the same sentiment, shared and reshared, endorsed by the ones we like and follow.
But not necessarily true or reflective of the wider reality or critical mass, which sits outside of our algorithmic clique.
And when the music stopped, we looked at each other, dumbfounded.
In this game, we all ridiculed Trump (liking his growing popularity through infamy and hair gags) and scoffed at the chances of a dark ages backwards move like Brexit.
We got both wrong at the truer polls of real life.
But what’s interesting, is how Facebook is now algorizing it (Yes, I think i made that word up, sue me) as ’16’s fault.
Like ’16 had a motive and a beef and a score to settle. And most dangerous to assume, is behind us.
I should pause here to say that obviously Facebook doesn’t create this in some malign effort. It isn’t the creator of this. That’s us.
We amplify our own narrow mindedness amongst each other.
And punctuate it with trivial Animated GIFS to keep ourselves entertained.
The craziness of ’16 has been in the making for many years.
Trump. Yeah, the vote fell into this calendar year, but the sentiment already has grandkids. The same goes for Brexit. This stuff brews.
Let’s not be foolish to think that it happened in ’16.
If I use the other victims of ’16 to stress my point further.
David Bowie. He took a whole life to die. But more importantly, live.
The same goes for Leonard Cohen.
The year is incidental. The lesson is not.
The respect we ought to be giving to these occurrences – sad, stupid or catastrophic – is not.
Let’s love them while they’re alive.
Let’s look beyond the heinous year, to the deeper behaviours and symptoms of the sentiment.
Let’s look at ourselves as a powerful unit of one, capable of determining reality.
And not just at each other (in FB) for council or condolences.
That’s what I learnt most in ’16.
Please don’t share it.