Essay from Social Media Designate Michael Boyer
„Life is good!“ quoth my old friend again and again
and even if everyone is trying to tell us things are bad, life is good.
As we go toward the 35th World Dignity Conference we have a lot of positive things to reflect on this year. We are seeing toxic masculinity being removed from places of authority, seeing maternal care logging political successes across the globe.
Although we witness people clinging in their hearts to the dying phase of the old order, we do see many people reaching out to a new world order, a new method and changes for the better. Cooperation and unity are moving forward, a new co-operative zone of trade, international cooperation on vaccines, and the attempt to gather in those who have have gone off on a tangent with with dignity and respect. Certainly there is a lot of aggression out there. We see many people in fear, in fear for their lives and their existence. Their helplessness and fear leads to aggression, and they turn toward those who are trying to help with animosity, rather than a sense of respect for the efforts taken.
I see the fear everywhere as the new normal, that is unsettling to say the least. The underlying doubt that plagues you as you look at passersby and go into avoidance mode in an effort to keep a healthy distance makes all humanity your enemy. This is a core problem in our world today, an amplification of „Us and Them“, a terrible dividing factor that we must control with thoughts like „Life is good.“
Admittedly, I cannot follow all of mankind’s goings on. But as we started the #digniworld project in the spring, it was in the hope of getting the word out to deciders that positive change is necessary and that no better chance will occur any time soon. Some half a year later I see political opinion speaking out for a new, green, sustainable future. Perhaps it will prove to be not fast or decisive enough, but it is moving like the stone of sisiphos. We can rely on the lessons of inertia, that movement tends to continue to move. Life is good.
The interconnectedness that brought about revolutions of freedom just a few years ago has been perverted by algorithms designed for monetary gain. The social media platforms tightened from a wide panorama of images and opinions to a streaming channel containing a flood of information that reverberates with the opinion of the user.
When the timeline of the dog owner shows no more cat pictures, they are reinforced in their opinion. When the fearing receive only reverberated fear, the fight or flight axiom sends them into the street to fight a menace so small that it cannot be seen. Failing that, they turn on their supposed oppressors.
Tragically, doing nothing at all combats the plague more effectively than any action, a reversal of human tradition and experience that carries an unnatural feel to it and makes it more difficult to do.
Ironically, the social media algorithms that made the providers rich on monetary gains but poor on dissemination of common information have led to their collapse as a force for good. A German phrase goes: There’s no good to it, if you don’t do it. For #digniworld to work, we need break through the algorithmic wall of social media. We must have contacts on the radical side. We have to look into the abyss if we want our message to be heard there. It is a dignified thing to do, to take others seriously, although we do not agree with or even hate their viewpoints. Only in dialogue can we win them over. Ignore them? No. Ghandi told us the results of that – then they win.
Disseminate the good and the hope! Wash your hands and stay close at healthy distance.
Life is good, with #digniworld.