Macro and Micro Society

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I was musing today, as you do. About the way we share our lives online. I suppose that’s what I am doing now. Why is that such ‘a thing’ these days?

In the past we lived in small communities and everyone knew each other. So if we felt lonely or sad then people were around to chat to. In these days of isolation, the internet or more specifically social media has become our community. Society has become macro (world wide) instead of micro (local). The whole world is our neighbour or friend, a listening ear, advisor, confidant, shoulder to cry on etc.

But there is the dark side, in days past people who offended a community were put in the stocks where they were spat on, had rubbish and excrement thrown at them and where they were generally abused. In these modern enlightened days we look down on such barbaric behaviour. Instead we carry out our abuse online, we pillory people in print. The most interesting modern adaptation of abuse is the way we have carried forward public torture into a TV entertainment. Now either celebrities or the public are made to suffer a series of humiliating trials and then we take part vicariously through social media. We pillory, abuse, accuse, insult and occasionally defend these victims. What a curious enlightenment we have.

I offer these thoughts not as judgment, I see myself caught up in this new reality. It’s merely an observation.

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