In the lecture, The GOOD, The BAD, and the UGLY in the AGE of the Internet, I observed, "The Internet is a tool . . . and like every tool in your studio, it is up to the user to understand its shortcomings and potential abuses."
Part of the BAD in the AGE of the Internet is the "Lack of substantive critique online." We have entered into what I am calling "the world of Like." I love the potential of social media, but I am concerned about "LIKE"ing. LIKE, like, Like -- is that all there is?
LIKE: verb Find agreeable, enjoyable, or satisfactory.
LIKE: adverb Used in speech as a meaningless filler or to signify the speaker's uncertainty about an expression just used.
LIKE: a button on Facebook [fill in your own definition here, and then LIKE yourself]
How can the online community rise above a culture of "LIKE" that incessantly pushes the button of feel good compliments and superficial pats on the back. One response for all occasions . . . push a button.
Taking this one step further, what happens when we lose the interpersonal discussions, debates, and interactions? How can we honestly convey any nuance of opinion, which aspects or parts appeal to us and which do not? How can we experiment, learn, and grow if the only feedback is 20 "likes" versus 31 "likes"?
Should we be concerned about swapping "LIKES" just to get a feel good "LIKE" in return? Is this a parallel to addiction behavior? Do we understand the "Persuasive Power of 'Like'"?
Or this study from the University of Michigan which finds that increased use of Facebook among young adults correlates to a reduced sense of well-being.
"The World of Like" is all about temporary "feel good" feelings, but it is costing us depth, authenticity, and respect for diversity. We need to build our social networks on more than the lowest common denominator.
I firmly believe that honest discussion and substantive interaction can elevate the field. How can we maintain a culture of growth in the Internet Age? How can we address difficult topics such as ethical and legal issues?
THURSDAY, August 22 3:00-4:00 p.m. (Pacific time)
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Even critical comments don't have to be considered negative when they are intended to be thoughtful. Stay open to options and new considerations.
Be true to yourself in the "World of Like".