In late 2017 it felt that the realisation of mass social media damaging our mental health was everywhere. Even three of the main players in growing Facebook spoke out strongly against what they had created. Shaun Parker taking the lead calling out the network.
It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other. It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.
But we’re hiding from a hard-truth. The technology didn’t create this problem, we did. Narcissism isn’t new, it’s a protection mechanism that humans have inbuilt. Mainly a use for mating, where we, as a species tend to group within physical and personality characters – enabling a non-random choice for succession.
But that narcissism has turned into a dopamine hit. Why tell a close friend or family member of something you’re proud of, when you can potentially tell the entire planet, for generations. It’s getting worse exponentially at scale, with the amount of media being created everyday, it’s showing what seems like a depressive, negative, divisive species.
I honestly think this will get a lot worse before it gets better. With smart-phones on the way out and Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and passive media (voice) soon to be taking over, we will push and consume more media than ever. You think your date scrolling on their phone is bad? Wait till we all have contact lenses projecting AR into the world around us 24/7. We’re seeing this divisiveness appear in the strongest political markets in the world, from Donald Trump, to Brexit. It’s exposing what a majority and minority truly think, giving either the cover or backup required and simultaniously exposing those same views to the masses, enabling rapid conversation and discussion on what we as a society want to be.
But here’s the kicker, we’ve all forgotten that as a species we are truly good. We’re exceptional, and just because negativity is louder, doesn’t mean it’s in a majority. In the past two years; Mental health awareness is at an all time high, LGBT rights and awareness is at an all time high, awareness of sexual abuse is at an all time high. As a community and a race, we’re working harder than ever to solve and combat these issues and more.
We’re evolving to be-able to take in more data, more information. Whilst addressing head on the issues we’re discovering. The very fact that mental health provoked by social media is now a conversation just proves it.
It’s deeply interesting that right now culture is catching up with technology. Technology has advanced far quicker than we all expected, but now culture and society is fast in pursuit. We may truly see the next decade as a societal shift for good like we’ve never seen before.