Thursday, 1 January 2015

Passengers

The truths in the world may be undermined because of me. Because of us. The world is so full of self-proclaimed professionals, yet here we are - bloggers or tiny voices in social media - giving away our most valuable 'insights'. Why do we intend to appear as experts? Who are we? 

After my apprehensive forays into this visual diary this holiday, I was attempting to figure out the reason to why I started it in the first place. It's the beginning of 2015, and before I step forward to continue this venture afresh, I wanted to contemplate on it's purpose and the repercussions I'm bound to inflict on others. Then, somehow by coincidence, I encountered a trigger that led to my explanation.

I was clearing up some of my old assignments and came across an excerpt of a book by Andrew Keen, an indie author. The book, The Cult of The Amateur, is about our liberal, user-generated, digital world. At risk of sounding like a mundane non-fiction psychological writer, this might actually resonate with everyone, bloggers or not.  I discovered a few points in the excerpt that was appropriate to ponder over about the consequences of blogging in the world.

"What the Web 2.0 revolution is really delivering is superficial observations of the world around us rather than deep analysis."  
"As former British Prime Minister James Callaghan said, 'A lie can make it's way around the world before the truth has the chance to put it's boots on.' That has never been more true than with speeding, freewheeling, unchecked culture of today's blogosphere."

In short, Keen was explaining how truths are being undermined and professional work are undervalued by user-generated information like blogs. In that assignment, I had to decide if I agreed with him, and at that point in time, I carelessly did. I was too narrow-minded to realise that there were people who were frustrated with Keen for mocking the human race and being a luddite. Keen assumes the entire world is foolish, when even the most shallow of us can judge the validity of the facts on '.org' and '.blogspot.com'.

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor who lived long before the birth of our virtual network, but he did mention a quote that seemingly describes this infinite cyberspace.


Perhaps truths are not entirely being undermined because of blogs. Perhaps as much as there are countless of user-generated information out there, people know what to trust. They are their own appointed arbiters of content and they make the decisions on what to believe. They decide whether they intend to shield themselves from the cacophonous media environment.  

It's really crowded and noisy in here, but let's think for ourselves and continue to keep an open mind. We have the ability to make our own decisions on what to trust.

Besides, the unmapped network of blogs or YouTube videos play a string of discordant voices. All gets lost in this virtual insanity. But it's vital for identity development. 

Sites with user-generated information like blogs, allow us to 'perform' for others and take us on a journey of self-discovery. This was explained by a psychologist, Danah Boyd. Facing a mirror to reflect on our own performance, we 'perform' to attain the reactions of others, while making an audacious move to expose ourselves shamelessly in the process. Maybe this answers the question to who we actually are. 

We're passengers of a plane to that distant island of Approval, clad with just a shifty passport. We're in an airport passing a series of counters, checkpoints after checkpoints, to garner that mere ticket of Acceptance. We're living in the digital age of egotism and the search for recognition, parading itself as mere socialisation. 

Some might agree, but you know, you can't trust me either. 

Lettering by me, Photo by me. 
This post is about the consequences of blogging and why we still do.

16 comments

  1. Wow, D. You've clearly outdone yourself this time. This is your best post yet. How on earth am I gonna keep up with this kind of standard?? hahah cheers :)

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  2. You know I tried to pick a favourite part from the post but there are so many it's confusing..so many beautiful quotes in there and that lettering wow,job well done I must say :D
    I also asked myself you know why blog when I was starting mine.My answer was real simple though "Because I want to tell my story" and that was the sole reason I started it...that being expert thing is so true we all do it sometimes we might be unaware but we do that like I sometimes pretend to know Photoshop way better than I do infront of my friends but on my blog I tend to keep it a little casual and goofy because I don't want it to reflect who I want to be but who I am and if don't do that I might as well stop blogging.I don't know we get lost in virtual insanity rather find a group of people who are as crazy as you over the internet.You wouldn't believe how many cool people (including you) I've come to know in past couple of months.Still can't figure out if I love the post more or the quotes or the photograph. :)

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    1. Thanks a lot, Neal! It's nice to meet you too. You're very supportive of my blog and I appreciate that. :)

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  3. This is a beautifully well planned article. I stumbled across your blog today and i'm glad I did.
    I totally agree with your opinion on the blogs and YouTube videos. it is amazing to realize that we are in that era of technology where we could express ourselves freely to the entire world. It is a luxury.

    *sends best wishes to you for the new year* :)

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    1. Thanks, Sakshi :) Yes, it is a luxury. Happy New Year to you too! :)

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  4. Dian... first thank you for such a thoughtful and kind comment you left on my blog. I wish you a very happy new years with love and joy ;-)

    Second, this is written so well, I grew up in the era where none of this technology existed... I love that it is available to connect us so easily, whether it is through blogging or endless social media. I know there are pitfalls and it seems over saturated but I think it's awesome that we all can have a voice if we choose to do so.

    I've always wanted to write and after my marriage fell apart and my ex then raped me... this medium helped me to get through. I've also enjoyed getting to know many people here.

    I'm looking forward to getting to know you better in 2015 and beyond.

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    1. Hi Launna, thank you for your comment. I'm sorry to hear about what happened. Writing is a great form of therapy for me too, it helps me reflect and learn more about myself. I'm glad you've found this medium to help you through. Stay strong. :)

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  5. I love red color <3
    is color of luck :)

    happy new year :)

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  6. There are so many parts of a single story. Some are obvious and some are lost in oblivion. I think everyone wants to emboss their opinions on others, in one way or another. And it's not a bad thing. Perhaps this is how every story floats on world wide web. Unless, things could be boring x

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    1. That's true. These stories can help us to stay open to different perspectives. :)

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  7. This is a beautifully written and structured piece. Sometimes I wonder if we are not all just shouting into the void from behind our computer screens, but that makes me realise why it is so important to forge real, not just casual, friendships over the internet and maintain our integrity, as well as keeping our own voice when we blog rather than donning anonymity or merely trying to reflect what is current and popular. Yes, we are blogging to people we've never met, reading the stories of people we've never met, but this is also what we are doing when we read and write books. I think it's amazing that now more than ever we can communicate, through time and space even, with people we'd have no other chance to form a link with.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and a happy new year!

    PS Your photography is beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Emily. That's true, it's similar to reading and writing books. And keeping our own voice is definitely important too. :)

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  8. I read Uglies literally a week ago and it is now one of my favorite books! I can't express how much it made me think, especially about how much we can possibly value beauty. I really liked this blog post. Also, thank you for your lovely comment on my blog. :)

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  9. Oops, I just realized I commented on the wrong blog post. Sorry! Hehehe...

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    1. It's alright, Brittany. :) Yes, Uglies is a great book to think about the distorted meaning of beauty in our world. I haven't gotten round to reading the last book in the series, but the second book in the series wasn't as good though. :)

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