Humanity is defined as the quality or condition of being human, human nature. Human nature is the concept that there is a set of inherent distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, which all humans tend to have.
In an age where technology surrounds and influences humanity one must consider whether technology is changing how we think, feel and act. Is technology influencing humanity or is humanity influencing technology?
The questions of what ultimately influences human behavior and how the causation works, and whether technology is the influence or is humanity the influence over technology are important questions for all of society.
The Significance of Social
Social technology is permeating everything in our lives. It seems that every medium of media has integrated social into the message. The Facebook craze has pulled over 500 million people into use of social technology for multiple purposes. Humanity is experiencing connectivity to the human network like never before in history.
The influence of technology on humanity is affecting all market sectors whether private or public, on-line and off line. The intersection of technology and the human network is disrupting old business models, organizational theories and beliefs systems founded in old knowledge. The significance of these disruptions and the relative meaning is a moving curve of comprehension. What we see on the surface is merely attempts to create short term results using old belief systems and business models. What lies underneath is a societal shift in beliefs as humanity strives to create meaning and significance from the emerging changes.
Umair Haque writes: Social is significance. The real promise of social tools is societal, not just relational; is significance, not just attention. You’ve got to get the first right before you tackle the second — and that means not just investing in “gamification,” a Twitter account, or a Facebook group. It means thinking more carefully how to utilize those tools to get a tiny bit (or a heckuva lot) more significant, and starting to mean something in enduring terms. The deepest test of a 21st century business isn’t just whether it glitters, but whether it can create thick value, that endures, benefits, and multiplies: whether it matters.
The Mazeway Re-synthesis
Humanity has many belief systems which influence the many groups within the human network. Our individual beliefs system form around collective belief systems influenced by society and by media. Could it be that social technology is enabling the human network to create a new belief system?
When a small group of people experience a change of belief system, and if they persuade others to share it, they become new prophets of change, if they fail to persuade others, they are discounted and labeled by society. Many new belief systems are incompatible with the old, and results in small crowds and followers going to a new “promised land”. This accelerates the process of colonizing vacant territory, and therefore both the capacity to develop a new belief system, and the capacity to be persuaded to switch to the belief system of the prophets of change, becomes a mazeway resynthesis of beliefs.
Mazeway resynthesis’ is the change in belief systems that occurs from prophets of change, the mazeway being to the individual what culture is to society, so that the prophet awakes to a new reality which he or she then tries to impart to followers; if successful, the prophet becomes the leader of a new movement; otherwise, he or she is alienated from the network of people clinging onto the old belief system. Sound familiar? Those social media preachers within and outside the traditional organization are the prophets of change attempting to create a mazeway resynthesis with those who believe in the meaning and significance that social represents.
Prophets of Ideas
Ideas represent the presentation of new knowledge that emerges from the creativity of the human network. Because of the connectivity afforded to the human network meaningful and significant ideas are emerging every day. The meaningful and significant ideas are the ones which create thick value that endures, benefits, and multiplies productivity of the human network.
The Social Overton Window is a means of identifying which ideas define the range of acceptance people’s ideas and media fall into. Media is used to persuade or educate the marketplace so that the window of behavior either “moves” or expands to encompass them. Opponents of change reject ideas that represent significant change in how humanity thinks, feels and acts.
While the influence of technology on humanity always has been and always will be significant the real influence on society is what humanity does with the technology to create meaningful value for all humanity. This is also true for any individual or organization using ‘social technology for any purpose.