Then the world’s economy collapsed. People were so desperate, they turned to their own social networks for cash. Some of us didn’t even want cash: attention was good enough. - Daniel Kolitz
Daniel Kolitz piece for Hazlitt, titled What I Learned at Personal Branding School, blew me away. A comedic review of his personal experience on taking an online Coursera course.
I've been trying to figure out for the past couple of years what the heck is happening in our society, besides the obvious -- man's need for God. Kolitz's article sent me in the right direction for answers.
Back in 2013, I wrote a journal entry titled "Overexposed," with the simple premise that we were overexposing ourselves for the sake of "experience" and "living," only to regret that exposure because it opened us up to be criticized and encouraged partaking in activities that we wish we had not. I argued that we also had the possibility of losing ourselves in the process. Today, the competition happening online for attention, influencer credits, and money is fierce. What I believe we all now know, if you can build a "platform" on some idea or something you believe to be true or universal about yourself then you can sell anything, and I do mean anything. This has created in the words of Kolitz, "bad jokes about the Oscars, or posted pictures of our asses on Instagram."
Many other more sinister things are happening online as well, like how "churchporations" market religion, how our celebrities feed us causes that donate less than 20% to the actual problem they say they are fighting against, and how our very "democracy" was blown to pieces this last election cycle by "fake news" and other outside threats. We asked for this connectivity. Will it be to our detriment? Besides, what else hoards attention besides our debased and perverse nature?
I know, cat videos!