Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Social Media and Evolving Consciousness

Earlier today I speculated about the problems with what I see as a growing "surveillance society", where people are willing - indeed, eager - to surrender their privacy in order to achieve some false sense of belonging.

That's not alarmist hyperbole, in my opinion - just an observation, upon which I placed at least a couple of caveats.

But for every yin there is a yang.

Social media / networking also has the potential to lead to something wonderful - an empathic society.

I think the  possibility exists that as we move further along in terms of technological development, which will enable us to share more of ourselves with each other, we may also move further along in terms of empathic development, to the point that our individualistic "sense of identity" could be broadened to a much more communal outlook.

It really comes down to a question of human nature, I suppose. The "surveillance society" of which I wrote is shallow, and dangerous, and at the moment all too real. But there is also a very real opportunity here, where eventually something deeper and more lasting will emerge that will truly change the way we view ourselves, and each other, for the better.  

Accordingly, while we should be cautious in our use of the new social media, as is the case with any new technology, that doesn't mean that we should reject it. Indeed, we should embrace it, but for the right reason - to achieve meaningful communication with each other, and through that a greater understanding of who we are, both as individuals, and as a society. 

Paul Kimball

No comments: