By M.K. Styllinski
“Social media spark a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions, inspire movements, and ignite change.”
― Brian Solis,
“Ignorance meets egoism, meets bad taste meets mob rule.”
— Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur
The above quotations from writers Brian Solis and Andrew Keen are equally valid. Social media has already offered enormous benefits to connect, share and liberate humanity. It has revolutionised business as a marketing tool and allowed us an instantaneous global reach. Yet, technology – as everything else – always presents a choice between a Jekyll or Hyde application. Which perception and allotted values gain dominance will logically characterise how it develops. The internet and social media is still very much driven by the same pathology of Mr. Hyde that has been bludgeoning ordinary humanity into submission since the rise of the oil industry to the emergence of big data as the new oil. Consequently, Hyde is subsuming Jekyll at a faster rate with its moral character disappearing fast.
Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple surpass the national GDP of many countries and have more overt and covert control over our lives than the State – if indeed there is much difference. Monopolisation is too weak a word to describe how these companies seek to dominate our lives through the kind of advertising, marketing and data capitalisation that is literally predicting our every move. We are becoming the new algorithms in a vast simulation of global consumption and predictive analysis. This is inseparable from the National Security State and its SMART surveillance infrastructure. The new frontiers of social media are redefining communication fully enmeshed in the propaganda of eco-SMART cities of the future and the visions of the technocrats.
The 1960’s saw a genuine revolutionary spirit of inquiry and an expansion of awareness which was comprehensively hijacked by the Establishment. Now, we have the same commercialisation, consolidation, centralisation and control (the 4C’s) appearing in the 2000’s to divert and re-direct the enormous creativity present in humanity in partnership with this technology. To do so, the Establishment and its agencies must ensure that generations of young adults are suitably disconnected from perennial values and re-connected – even addicted – to technology as an end in itself; to be made to believe that their lives and their eco-SMART future is inevitable. Social media and its communication and consumer platforms are part of this agenda, about which most of us are wholly unaware.
“But I couldn’t do without my smart phone…”
And that’s how it works. Tweak society just enough so that such tools become indispensable because infrastructure, economics and commerce is built around it. Once again, technology is not the problem, it is those with the money and mindset that determine its trajectory. The reasons why must be understood in order to have the choice to resist such impositions. Our freedom of mind depends on it.
Before we get into the murky world that is Facebook, this somewhat lengthy post will start with the new human appendage granting entry into social media – and just about everything else – the smart phone.