Thought of sharing observations on the future of online discussion and participation. Been noticing how, over time, community-based discussion have taken place in much more blanket, yet regulated, domains.
This is a rather disturbing trend. Let the following explain.
For instance, when this individual first came online back in the late 1990’s, discussion was much more thought-provoking and productive, while being loosely structured… leading its participants to further truths and realization. This structure was mainly due to individual, personal relationship — a strict focus of subjects that group participants could strongly engage with and learn by.
As time progressed, we eventually lost this focus. Discussions have become more of an amusement, relying on generalized conversation. We have lost the ability to muse, reconfigure, and test words that are posted — in fear that objection and criticism will greatly falter when brought to the main groupthink. We are now able to collectively vote, while nearby dwellers, family members, and mere acquaintances are generally labeled as friends, equally entertaining themselves in the matters at hand.
In this man’s view, the word friend is a strong word. They are as precious as gold and shouldn’t be seen as extra stars being added to your grade report.
This desire to be revered by peers has lead to an overwhelming weight of peer-pressure. Critical thoughts are withheld for the betterment of one’s reputation. Sentences have to be witty, noticeable, and extremely bombastic. In the end, we get something cute… but doesn’t hold any meaningful substance.
Nowadays, commercial sites have taken a strong hold over community discussion, in which the user becomes fodder for subliminal ad attacks and in-app purchases. Global marketplaces which need more and newer sheep to be sheared.
As long as the conveniences remain open and updated, the stall line keeps moving. Yet where is it going? And does anyone care?
Social media, with the overwhelming variety of tools available, has lead to less meaningful activity and unmindful relationships. We do not realize we are being starved. Knowledge is handed to us upon a silver platter, upon demand, while the journeyman’s work ethic lays bare. There is nothing to do… but stay put and take the global influence.
And, because of this, our hands show no hardness. Our experiences are merely downloaded from others before us. Even though our minds are molded by those who we have never heard of, we remain loyal for the scraps.
As the years go by, this person has noticed a major attack being waged against the usage of words. Although, in first-world countries, we are told we have the freedom of speech… we are becoming more and more afraid to speak the truth. Because, day by day, that truth is less and less popular. Especially when we see influential people speak contrary to that truth.
Are we growing? Perhaps… as a larger, tastier vegetable.
The substance, though, is dearly lacking.