Last week, the Florida-based Dream Defenders announced a six week “social media sabbatical” from their personal and organizational Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, promising to digitally resurface in November “with a fresh voice; one that emanates from the grassroots and is a complement to movement work, not just characters.”
It's been said that it's not money, but rather the LOVE of money that has caused so many societal problems for so long.
The Internet--as a tremendous tool can be compared with money in that whether it turns out to be a positive development or not depends on the motive behind its use.
The focus on Facebook, twitter, and social media not only turn serious debates into sound bytes, there is something very "Matrix" like about the entire on-line "love affair." As the article points out, the intense focus on "relationships" on-line subtracts from their quality and vitality off-line.
So many live more in virtual reality than the real thing. In a sense, it's the electronic equivalent of Prozac and all of the mood-altering cocktails offered by Big Pharma to turn down the volume on rising collective levels of anger and despair.
Getting off-line to strategize and listen for one's own innate Truth is as important as are fresh air, healthy food, and regular exercise.
i just took about two weeks off from Common Dreams comment threads...
And it was great.
i think a lot of the critiques that these two organizers make of the major social media, Twitter Facebook Instagram et al, apply to this little world as well:
- Focus on personal sniping, attack and defense;
- Focus on virtual relationships, not real relationships;
- Very little focus on actual organizing.
My intention is to spend more time in the real world, face-to-face, talking with friends, family, co-workers (oops i quit my job!) and neighbors. We'll see how it goes.
i also think about a role for social media in any true movement for radical transformation. i trust Google and Facebook about as far as i can hurl the Earth, and i believe that with "the network" we are building something that has vast unconsidered implications for what it means to be human.
Who knows? Over the next year, one path i may take is to stake out a presence in social media (you're looking at the totality of my current presence). If i do, i'll be pretty blunt in my virtual face to the world, about deep critiques of networked humanity, and of the unholy corporatist / national security state "operating system" that underlies the social media networks, and the network as a whole.
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Thank you Kate Aronoff for a succinct interview platform for this articulation of profoundly wise self critique of utilization of communications. Kudos to Dream Defenders. Thank you for a gentle and firm reaffirmation of what it means to be human being. Nothing strengthens like recognition of deep engagement and ongoing nurturing. To tap the well known native perspective - to hold considerations with the wellbeing of seven generations into the future. And thats done with embracing lessons and observations of seven generations and more of our legacies from the past.