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Are humans controlling social media or is IT controlling human thought

or is IT controlling human thought

           The past, the present, and the future of social media. I will have to apply to my life before I can apply for a job. I have people I don’t know congratulating me on achieving my doctorate.

In the past social media was a bout socially meeting people. Now Social media is about people socially following you. Soon social media will be about virtual social meanings.

In the past social media was a bout socially meeting people. One summer our daughter was arraigning to meet her friends for the Gay Pride parade. And my wife and I asked (silly of us), “Have you called your friend yet?” Her response was typical of a Millennial, “mom, dad there is an app for that now. We don’t call” She ended with, “how did you plan to meet up with your friends when you were growing up?” Easy we would get together, plan something and then meet up on the date and time. Sometimes we would call everyone and make sure they were going to show up. If you wanted to stay in touch with somebody who had moved far away, we would sit down and write them a letter. They really close friends we will arrange to meet them someplace or some city. Meeting up with friends we have not seen you in a long time would spark a conversation. We would listen to each other stories about where we have been and what we have done. It would look at photographs and postcards and places we have been. We would share in the emotional excitement of the places we have been not just in pictures but also in words and the stories that we’re not in the pictures.  In the past it was all about social meetings with friends and enemies and all sorts of people we knew

            Now a day Social media is about people socially following you.

I meet up with people today and they are congratulating me on achieving my doctorate. I don’t know the person that well. They are a friend of my wife’s, but they have seen the photo of my diploma on my wife’s Facebook page.  I feel a sense of abandonment if I do not send my daughters who live 3000 miles away from me and my wife, a daily text. When my wife and I have our weekly group call with our daughters my wife wants to make sure my daughters can see my face. I am uncomfortable looking at not my daughters, but an image of myself looking at my daughters. I feel like I am looking in a mirror and a camera at the same time.  I have left Facebook because it seems as if every comment one makes eventually gets one negative response which starts a plethora of back and forth attacks that get so far off the original post, I forget what I was originally trying to say.  I realize that no one is really reading anything anymore. Most people are just looking at memes and reacting to short burst of words and pictures without meaning. So, these Social media is about people socially following you. If you apply for a job, the first thing the prospected employer will do is stalk you on social media. I feel sorry for the person who has had a fake account made by someone who does not like them.

            Soon though, social media will be about virtual social meanings. The movie that sticks out in my mind is Wall-E[i].  Wall-E finds that the inhabitants of earth are on a ship, 8 generations have past and they are being controlled by an artificial intelligence that does not want the humans to think independently. This AI crates an existence where all needs are met as long as the humans stay blind and ‘connected’.  I notice that my students in 8th grade no longer watch TV stations. They watch YouTube stations, Instagram movie clips (that disappear after 48 hours), and Hulu/Netflix steaming.  They can choose what to watch and what not to watch. I used to think this was good until I realized that a racist will only watch racist things. A democrat will only watch democratic things. And a vegetarian will only watch vegetarian things. People will begin to look at only that which agrees with their thinking and that which will reinforce their thinking. It does not matter if their thinking is right or wrong, good or bad, that of a saint or a demon.  Humans are moving towards a day where if they have to go outside and face the world as it is, they will develop physical and mental disabilities because they are incapable of handling all that they have shielded themselves from. Life. This disability can evolve into a psychosis that causes them to accept someone who will promise to make the world in the image of a few if the few lash out at those who are different.

            So are humans learning to control social media or is (IT/IA) learning to  control human thought.  When I could see another human being and look them in the eye and disagree i knew that they could disagree as well, but because we chose to be together to discuss issues openly, we also chose to agree to disagree. Meeting socially was about expression, not confrontation. Meeting in a coffee shop is where the conversation evolved. Face to face. Presently meeting socially is the last thing we do after we have said all we need to say behind the cover of our computer and phone screens. Presently meeting socially in a coffee shop is where we go to sit with people with our devices dividing the space between human interaction.  In the future we may forget what human interaction is and wonder why we don’t know that the person sitting next to us is the person we are texting. Will I have to apply to life on my social media personal before I can apply for a job. Will we exclude face to face interviews?  My last interview for a job was Skype.

            I have come to the realization that this is what it means to evolve. I wonder how I will come out of this metamorphism of technology. What will I lose? Will I miss what I lose? What about the heart and souls of the human race? Will we retreat to our mental corners waiting for a war that is not needed if we just meet for a cup of coffee, talk, and agree that it is okay to disagree


[i] Wall-e, Andrew Stanton-Andrew Stanton-Jim Morris-Jim Reardon-Ben Burtt-Elissa Knight-Jeff Garlin – Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment – 2008
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