As we watch the social web and all the moves of the platform operators, advertisers and users conversations, we often have to step back to see what is emerging behind the “noise and activity” of the moment.
Some pundits talk about the issues at hand while others talk about the emergence of new issues. Much is centered around “what is” rather than “what could be“. The “what is” draws our attention to problems, constraints and conflicts of the moment. While the “what could be” attracts those who focus on the future rather than the constraints of the moment.
The leaders and innovators focus on “what could be” while traditionalist and the media get consumed with the illusion of the moment. The illusions are driven but what we can see but the the future is driven by what we can’t see unless we step back and envision what could follow our perception of the current moments or experiences.
An illusion is a distortion of a sensory perception, revealing how the brain normally organizes and interprets sensory stimulation. While illusions distort reality, they are generally shared by most people. Illusions may occur with more of the human senses than vision, but visual illusions, optical illusions, are the most well known and understood. The emphasis on visual illusions occurs because vision often dominates the other senses.
For example, individuals watching a ventriloquist will perceive the voice is coming from the dummy since they are able to see the dummy mouth the words. Some illusions are based on general assumptions the brain makes during perception. These assumptions are made using organizational principles, like Gestalt, an individual’s ability of depth perception and motion perception, and perceptual constancy. Other illusions occur because of biological sensory structures within the human body or conditions outside of the body within one’s physical environment.
How Distorted are The Virtual Illusions of The Moment?
When we look at the social web today we see networks, content and conversations “contained in wrappers” with a variety of rules. The rules are set by the operators whose own illusion is that these containers give them some kind of control over users, conversations, transactions and markets. On the physical world we see similar “rules” but when the rules of the physical world don’t necessarily work in the virtual world.
The physical world rules have developed from the business and educational experiences of the past. This mindset was transferred to the models and dynamics of Web 1.0 because the technology, at that moment, was geared to limited interaction which focused on one way delivery of information and communications. Everything was contained, controlled and even so people found utility and value.
A shift has occurred with the introduction of the social web but the illusions of the past are still trying to fit the new into the old using rules of control. The dynamics of conversations, relationship connectivity, transactions and new market developments are not conducive to “control” rather they are fueled by the desire to transact freely and without constraint. The collective energy and discoveries of the people desiring more freedom, less control and constraints is representative of the historical evolution of our physical world.
Today’s virtual difference is that the social web is not one country, one government or lead by one person who sets the rules and controls the masses. Rather we are experiencing self organized and self governed communities representing a global society of people conversing about anything and everything. The momentum of participation and discovery is being lead by the collective individuals who want more freedom and less control. The people see beyond the current illusions and want the constraints and rules removed and the freedom to continue to converse seamlessly so the collective creativity of the people can pursue “what could be” rather than live in the moment of “what is”.
When people unite, speak out with one voice and collectively lead, shift happens. Is the possibility of people uniting and creating progress toward “what could be” an illusion or the reality of the moment?
People don’t resist self imposed control, they resist being controlled. History does indeed repeat itself just in different context and places.
What say you?