Reconnecting across the digital divide
Media theorist Douglas Rushkoff finds that social networks generate social fragmentation and its corollary, the loss of critical thinking. But he feels there is hope if we “find the others.”
We are connected, but disconnected. How can we reconnect? Douglas Rushkoff criticizes digital media as tools that divides us in a binary way: yes/no, for/against, them/us. The business plans used by digital platforms make use of technology to exploit and manipulate humans, in order to generate clicks. So what can we do to turn the situation around besides lashing out at developers?
The fact that we live in a state of perpetual emergency and permanent interruption, constantly connecting and disconnecting, prevents us from forging solid relationships with other people, and from building a real collective. In his book Team Human1 and his podcast, Rushkoff paints an acerbic picture of technologies that enslave rather than serve us.
Nevertheless, he remains optimistic: one day humans will get fed up with the fact that technology divides them, and will want to tackle collective challenges together. Rushkoff ends his book with these simple words: “Find the others” – people pushing in the same direction as you, and better still, people you don’t agree with. Reconnect with meeting people. You’ll enjoy better health, be more open, more resilient, and a better communicator. More human.
Can Humans Reconnect in an Age of Isolation?
podcast by Douglas Rushkoff (Wharton 2019).
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