I believe that our brains, our privacy and our lives are being slowly hijacked by mass media. This applies to all media but the internet is the most recent to fall to the dark side. It happens slowly, over a long period of time, and we hardly notice it while it is happening. Our private brain space has been infiltrated with a lot of stuff that is of little to no value (invasive advertising in every corner of our lives), and it happens on a regular basis without our permission. Over time some of the messages from these things have the potential to creep into our psyches and wreak havoc. As well we may have feelings of mental overload, and a feeling of unease without really knowing the source. Our brains after all are sensitive instruments, how can we expect them to function at high capacity when they are overloaded and overstimulated? We know that if we have a diet of junk food, that our bodies do not function well and begin to fail us. Why is that we are willing to accept filling our psyches with crap also?
I have noticed recently that the internet is undergoing another period of change, one where we are now being forced to watch ads (on Youtube for example) in the same manner as television (if we wish to participate in the medium of video sharing). Let’s be clear about something, a medium that is driven by ad revenue is no longer democratic and unbiased. This new development means that video sharing on Youtube, or any other medium that has regular advertising (Facebook, Amazon, Google, Goodreads, Flickr, blogs) no longer gives power to the people. It/they exists only to create ad revenue.
And guess what? YOU are now the ad. Not only are we forced to watch the ads but we are actually being used to create them without our permission, (or at least our conscious permission, apparently we should have read the fine print).
IF we are to inhabit a position of strength and retain our sense of selves, we need to take our power back. The companies who are forcing advertising on us and taking our rights and privacy away can only function if we hand our power over to them. We can say no, I’m not going to use them anymore. No I am not going to be used to create ad revenue for a large corporation who is acting immorally. We CAN use our voice by choosing who and how we align ourselves. We can place a high value on our brain space and not let it be infiltrated on a daily basis and filled with crap. We can choose something better. Something healthier. Something that adds something of value to the world. So what is a good alternative to Facebook? I am not sure about the answer to that. Why don’t we create it ourselves? The internet began with some really amazing communities that started small and grew.
I am putting out a call to all creatives out there. We need some alternatives. That are not ad driven but people driven, compassionate, fair, lawful, honest, driven by integrity. One of the reasons people use Facebook is that there are few alternatives. I know there are people out there who are already working on these things. (So often they start out with such wonderful intentions only to sell the company for large amounts of money and let it turn into another ad driven, ugly, piece of crap (Flickr) with no regard for its users.) I will make my stand by opting out. But we need somewhere to redirect the energy.
I know we can do better. I believe in us. Let’s start with a new vision of the future. We need some new leaders. Are you willing?