Those who have seen the documentary The Social Dilemma (TSD), already know that the technology that connects us, also controls us… manipulates us… polarizes us… distracts us… monetizes us… divides us.
Technology’s promise to keep us connected has given rise to a myriad of unintended consequences that are catching up with us. TSD shares how persuasive design techniques like push notifications and the endless scroll of our newsfeeds have created a feedback loop that keeps us glued to our devices. And in return, how that has correlated with self-reported declines in mental and physical health and life satisfaction.
We learned that social media advertising gives anyone the opportunity to reach huge numbers of people with ease, by giving the necessary tools to sow unrest and fuel political divisions. In fact, the number of countries with political disinformation campaigns on social media has doubled in the past two years!
In addition to that, algorithms promote content that sparks outrage, hate and amplifies biases within the data that WE FEED THEM. Which is why 64% of the people who joined extremist groups on Facebook did so because the algorithms steered them there!
But that’s not all! Technology has enabled us to hide behind a faceless email, text or Facebook post, which has sparked discord, debates, division and discontentment. None of which, we would most likely say in person. But easily written safely behind a screen. You see, not that long ago, in order to be in an argument with someone, you actually had to be WITH them. Now, you can argue with someone, be angered by someone and say things you might regret to someone halfway around the world!
And in the days before technology, you didn’t know EVERYTHING about everyone. Like their religious beliefs. Their political bias. Their diet of choice. Their thoughts about Netflix or the NFL. Or whether or not they follow the CDC guidelines.
Now, WE. KNOW. EVERYTHING. And the simplest advertisement, post, email or text can get us fired up! Before we know it, we can find ourselves judgmental, critical, alone, angry and even, unkind. In stressful times like these, many people have become divided and disconnected. And often times, unfriendly. We have seen it on our screens. We have seen it throughout Covid. We have seen it increase as November 3rd gets closer.
Because we want to live intentionally, we decided to choose being kind over being right. We want to be a group of women that sparks KINDNESS. We don’t want to just sit and wait for the elections to be over. Or for Covid to be gone. Or for someone to find a cure for technology. We want to do something now. In the midst of it all. So, we are launching a 30 day Kindness Challenge (taken from Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, The Kindness Challenge), starting October 1st. We really hope you will join us! And maybe even bring someone along. Because we believe that we need kindness more than ever. And that it starts with US.