Every generation makes their share of mistake and the next generation has a choice to learn from it. The last century saw world war and hopefully we have learnt our lesson. Now that we look back we might think to ourselves how is that even possible? Was that generation stupid? No. They were just like us. Do you think the people at that time were aware that things would become so ugly by the end of the war? I don’t think so. If they were then we would have a different history today.
The thing is we humans are almost unaware of the mistakes while we make them. Its only after making them and seeing the consequences that we truly become horrified and become conscious of what we did. Also, if we think that we are not making a mistake today collectively then that leaves a blind spot and accidents usually happen in blind spot. So let’s assume we are making one, then the question arises, what is it? What do you think is wrong with the world today? You might say there are plenty of things wrong with the world like poverty, crime, corruption, etc,. but these are things that have been there since the beginning of human civilization and are mostly relevant to individual circumstances, not in all cases but most. Then the question remains what collective mistake are we making? What if we become conscious of it after its too late?
I think that collective mistake of our time is social media. I have thought about this for long time and after lot of observation and experiences both online and in real life I am saying that the greatest mistake of our time is social media. It does not sound as grave as horrors of last century and thankfully so. But I am pretty sure that it has far reaching consequences on individuals and hence the society. Social media is the greatest experiment of our time and it’s being run on billions of people, the effects of which are not really comprehensible to us. Decades will have to pass before we truly understand what exactly happened or net positive/negative effect of social media. It’s so deeply woven in our societies now that the rise and fall of political parties and world leaders is also influenced by how successful there campaign is on social platforms.
Social media seems pretty harmless, at first. But think about it. What if it is changing the pattern we think? or feel? What if it is giving us slight nudges to shift our moods in that moment but harmful for us in long run, of which we are not even aware of. Huge corporations run these social networks. Can we really rely on their good will? What if, they are are exploiting aspects of humans psyche to keep revenue stream flowing. Tweak an algorithm little bit and you are changing the course of human civilisation. Isn’t that scary?
Yeah this might sound like a huge stretch and maybe even a conspiracy theory but I truly believe its not the case. So far I have only given you bunch of what ifs and no emprical evidence. I might not even be able to provide it here. Maybe I will write more posts about this and maybe you can do your own research as well in this regard and tell me that I am being paranoid about it. That’s better than completely being under it’s influence.