We live in the age of ethereal analyzation of the social collective, right? Everyone is trying to figure each other out, posting content about themselves to find out what makes them tick, and generally poking their noses into the most open-source society the world has ever known. It’s a zoo, it’s madness, it’s amazing.
I have to wonder though: what would Freud do if he had Facebook? I mean, the guy had an obsession with figuring people out, so this level of human nature exposition would have made him a complete insomniac. I was looking back through 2010 with these glasses on, becoming increasingly convinced that every interaction we have completes us a little more. It’s obvious that we are social creatures…but what does the massive shift in communication really mean?
Never in human history has the human race been so connected. The fact that we can open a discussion with anyone on the planet – regardless of distance/language barriers – at any hour of the day is incredible. I think we’re reaching a point where we are limited only by how long we can remain conscious every day. I’ve seen more information on organizing information this year than in my entire life.
How does that affect our ability to communicate?
One can assume that more connections = less concentration. We have a fix for that too: tiny blurbs of information for the twitchy people, long-form compilation services for the musing types, simplification aggregators for those who like headlines, the list goes on. We can literally connect with people any way we like, however often we like, on any device we like. It’s amazing.
This seems like the perfect situation for a seeker like Freud, but is it really? Would he like the constant flow of communication and connections? Does his analytical passion sift through the sheer volume or become overrun?
I think this is worth consideration: when we focus on connecting, compiling and consorting between every person possible, we avail ourselves to more petrification than ever before. Forget distractions and organizational issues, I’m talking about the effect of that many brains tuned in to one another.
I’m going a bit counter-culture here for a moment, so stay with me. Everyone desires their unique voice, but they also want to touch base with everyone else. We all enjoy the convenience of mass-communication, but we find a need for personal time all the more important. When we sort through incredible resources like Wikipedia, we sometimes find ourselves accepting the wisdom of masses without hesitation. Does this compute? Do WE compute without consideration, even before we cogitate?
Freud was a strange guy, but some of his observations into the human condition were incredible. I have to wonder what he would do with so much source material to consider, how it might have affected his work, if his theories would have differed and so on. What I’m really fascinated with, however, is if OUR ability to form conclusions is unleashed or hindered by this day we live in. What do YOU think?