Technology based on trust instead of control: less and less utopian!
What is your story of dark versus light? Where do you believe dark forces are at play, and you need to fend yourself with light?
When I refer to dark and light, many people get the connotation with “bad” and “good.” The word “dark”, in your mind, may quickly lead to darkness, unclear, intangible and even dangerous. The word “light” probably brings up images and interpretations of enlightening, clarity, tangibility and safety.
We consider ourselves a developed civilization, but those two words alone can bring out the inner child in the sandbox for many people: there “must” be good and bad, or so we’ve been taught by centuries of judgment-driven upbringing. To be clear: this is not my opinion, this is my observation. An observation that includes the following question:
Can you imagine a duality without judgment? Can black be just dark and white just be light? Without one being better or worse than the other?
“…the Taoist Yin Yang, which is the idea that reality should be conceptualized as interdependent reciprocities.
In the west we think dualistically, or we attempt to think in terms of one end of the duality to the exclusion of the other, such as whole versus parts or consciousness versus physical matter. Yin Yang thinking is seeing how both sides of a “duality,” even though they appear to be opposites, are interdependent; you can’t have one without the other. You can’t have order without chaos, consciousness without the physical world, individuals without the whole, humanity without technology, and vice versa for all these complementary pairs.
[W]e often hear the criticism that technologies that are driven by pure capitalism degrade human life and only benefit the few people who invented and market them. So we need to also think about what good these new technologies can serve. It’s what I mean when I talk about the “wise cyborg.” A wise cyborg is somebody who uses technology to serve wisdom, or values connected with wisdom.”
To take you from a general technology-oriented future to a more contemporary view of what is happening on social media, in terms of dark and light, here’s an example by SocialMediaToday:
“ ‘If you’re sticking with your content approach from three years ago, it’s now 50% less effective.’
BuzzSumo’s key finding is that social sharing of content has been cut in half since 2015, with the majority of content seeing very few shares, and generating zero backlinks.
Why is this so? BuzzSumo contends that the factors which have caused the biggest impacts are:
- Growth in content competition
- Rise in private sharing (aka ‘Dark Social’ shares)
- Facebook algorithm changes reducing exposure, and thus, traffic
This comes back to the ‘content shock’ theory, that eventually there will be just too much content to consume, and it’ll become overwhelming, making it increasingly difficult to succeed. That makes logical sense, but the takeaway from this is not that brands should necessarily be turning away from content, but that simply producing content alone will not be enough.”
At first glance, the above text does not seem to be judging and is purely stating BuzzSumo’s findings. What matters to me are the questions that are inclined when it comes to the increasing trend of content being shared on ‘Dark Socials’: what to do if your content is being shared on dark socials? What does this mean for business?
Questions, in short, that indicate a lack of influence when people talk about brands on dark socials. Questions that subsequently suggest that this lack of influence leads to darkness, lack of clarity, intangible effects, or is bad for business.
My invitation to you, now, is this: imagine that, as a company, you do NOT panic when you don’t know exactly what people are saying about you. Imagine that, as a company, you dare to trust that, whatever is being said, the people who want to purchase your services and / or products will do so anyway. Perhaps they first ask to what extent the more negative messages are true or relate to them, but the (future) customer service of your company is well suited to handle those inquiries.
I realize that I am making a leap here, a leap to a civilization that does not yet exist and where marketing is based on trust & information instead of selling & despair. But I dare to describe this leap because I see more and more evidence going in that direction. Evidence from fellow visionaries, such as Tom Lombardo, so you know who my peers are.
Thus, an utopia, for now, but certainly feasible. After all, it is a situation sketch that recognizes duality, but has no judgment about it. A negative opinion about your company is just that: a negative opinion. You can learn from it, you can innovate with it (!), but you cannot control it. We have been created by an intelligence and a force that also balances the entire universe and still many people think they have control over conversations / situations / other people and what not.
Building on the first invitation, here is a second one: dare to admit that control is an illusion, and that you can co-create with that intelligence, based on TRUST. Trust here means staying TRUE to yourself, so saying what you do and doing what you say, based on what feels right.
I’m not the only one who muses about this and some visionaries even turn these musings into visible images — as Laura Hudson has done with her Better Worlds sci-fi series. The picture of the future that she describes has a positive opinion which I would like to emphasize …
“In the future, be it 5 years down the road or 50, advanced technologies will be an even bigger part of our lives than they are today. And just as the present is neither utopian nor dystopian, the future likely won’t fall firmly into one of these labels either. Societies will make positive progress while still grappling with challenges and hardships. Tech will bring benefits to our lives as well as unforeseen drawbacks.
But envisioning a bright future is one step we can take to push our realities toward growth rather than decline, abundance rather than scarcity, and inclusion rather than inequity.”
Photo released by Universal Pictures, Dreamworks animation How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World