I was at a 50th birthday party this weekend and we got talking about newspapers and news stories being focused mainly on the ‘bad news’. Most of us at the party have teenage or young adult children, and our observation is that they don’t read newspapers and they don’t watch the evening news on TV. Their source of keeping up with what’s important, is what’s trending on social media.
While I’m sure there are some down sides to this, mostly what they’re looking for are stories that make them laugh, feel more uplifted, and amazed. They swap and share stories via social media at a rapid pace.
But this is not just about our children. There’s a bigger trend trending here…
In George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four (which was published in 1949) it describes a (then) fictional world where everyone is under constant and complete surveillance by the ‘authorities’. There are huge telescreens that are constantly reminding the people of the world that “Big Brother is watching you”.
Here we are, over a half a century since Orwell’s book, and while we don’t have the ‘big screens’ reminding us that we’re being watched, the reality is, it’s not the ‘authorities’ who are watching us, it’s ourselves watching everyone else, sharing opinions, making judgments, and creating a new-world-moral-conscience.
You don’t have to look very far to see examples of the power of this new-world-moral-conscience. Radio 2GB’s Alan Jones has felt the sting from Social Media to the point where his comments about Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father “dying from embarrassment”, (made during a ‘private’ function) saw the new-world-moral-conscience swing into action with an estimated 80,000 plus people voicing their disgust via on-line signatures that resulted in major advertising sponsors to his show, withdrawing their support and a reported estimate of $80,000 a day.
OK, the real story here for me is the naivety of anyone today thinking that anything they say or do, even at a private function, is actually ‘private’. The reality is more than likely that what you’re going to be saying or doing will be captured by a mobile phone and uploaded to social media… and if it is something that itches, excites, or angers enough people so that it starts to ‘trend’, the new-world-moral-conscience kicks in.
While some people will be concerned about their privacy, and that’s another issue for another time, what I’m seeing here is the power of social media actively and sometimes with lightning speed, implementing the platform principle of Intentionomics, which is, “People Get Your Truth – Over time your intentions, actions and results will either promote or expose you”.
And this new-world-moral-conscience that is being formed through social media is resulting in the time that it takes for your intentions, actions and results to be promoted or exposed is getting shorter and shorter.