This article builds on the back of a previous article titled The Broken Promises Of The Internet about the pay to play situation. This article addresses the plight of us as individuals regarding the role and use of the internet in improving our lot in the real world.
If you require easy reading or a rose-tinted view on the topic, you will need to look elsewhere. I'll list some current negative online trends before commenting further:
The internet was intended to be the killer app for the masses, it was to usher in a new age of freedom of expression, easy networking and easy access to all information everywhere 24/7/365. There are indeed many wonderful and useful tools and spinoffs of the internet age, many of them have been commandeered by narrow interest groups though. Mainstream news outlets are the perfect example of totally lopsided and biased pseudo reporting, the alternative channels have become similar in nature offering up the polar opposite, where has integrity gone.
The trends listed above should tell us that internet is no longer what was promised, it has been annexed by a handful of powerful corporations and platforms that are now the gate keepers. They decide what information you have access to, in what way you can express yourself, and how effectively you can reach others.
This situation is the natural result of human ingenuity leveraging mass consumer behavior, the herd mentality, the hive mind and the slothful intellectual habits of the average individual. If the hat fits wear it, we only have ourselves to blame for swapping out our personal freedom and self-determination for convenience and entertainment. Why did we think that the power of the internet would not be secured by the power elite.
A day does not go by without news articles of how big government, big banking and big business has betrayed the little man. The common and convenient tool used is the internet and its high-tech wizardry, it is the tool used to squeeze the life out of the individual. Every time you pick up your cell phone you unwittingly relinquish a fraction more of your individuality for convenience and a false sense of belonging to a tribe.
Books could be written on the anti-social effects of social media, influencer marketing and the narcissistic addiction to photo and video sharing apps. This is self-evident self-destructive habitual behavior, but it's a lot easier than being a free responsible agent discovering your true self.
What's to do then? Below are a few practical things we can do as individuals to counter our locked-down and locked-in virtual life.
Most people don't have the time or energy to care about these trends and that is why we have them. With the bulk of business and personal communication happening on your phone and laptop, it's worth learning how we are being processed, packaged and posted as a product or data set. Never mind the adverse health effects of hours of cell phone use per day. In the minds of those in authority, passive people don't deserve freedom and actually prefer being prescribed to.
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Please share this article and leave your own observations, experiences or ideas in the comments below. Lets rescue ourselves together.
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For similar trends affecting digital marketing and our virtual lives read our The State of Social Media Marketing for Small Business and The Post Giant Marketing Platform articles.
Regards, Justin Grounds.
Founder & Admin