Trends and social stigmas

We’re living in a life full of trends and what I like to call “the new age of peer pressure.” We’re now more so than ever trying to fit in with our social crowd and doing things that we would have never thought about doing five, ten or even fifteen years ago.

Let’s look at tattoos, gluten free or even veganism and try and understand how and why these have become social trends. Yes, people are educating themselves and become more “open” about such things but people are also seeking a way to become a part of a social setting that where they can “fit in.” With the rise of social and digital media, information is much easier to grasp that in the 90s and we’re being taught or some may say “brainwashed” into following trends unconsciously.

But maybe there’s a point to that…

Non-verbal communication has taken over

We do not need to communicate verbally anymore. We are living in an age of technology innovations where the need to interact with someone with speech has disappeared. With messaging based apps on the rise and the comfort of expressing your mind over a screen rather than face to face takes over, verbal communication will continue to dwindle.

The future will host a world of virtual reality and augmented reality taking non-verbal communication that much further.

Can we learn from Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is popular because it contains a wealth of information made for people by people that for the most part consists of correct material.

However, there are many people who don’t believe in the power of Wikipedia and do not accept it as a format of knowledge.

Just because everyone and anyone can publish on Wikipedia even if they’re not a well-known journalist, even if they’re not a New York Times best seller or even if they’re not a published academic does not mean that their points are invalid or untrue.

But what can we learn from this domain and why is it one of the most visited websites in the world?

Are we learning or regurgitating?

I’m on Instagram Live!

Why is it that in the typical school system we group students in ‘intelligence’ categories based on how well they do on a test? Is it correct to put a child in group ‘A’ because they produced a high score due to their ability to remember something that they have been told by their teacher? Is it correct to put a child in group ‘C’ due to their inability to remember something that they have been told by their teacher. Is the child in group ‘A’ more intelligent than the child in group ‘C’? Or are we praising that child because of their commitment to studying?

What is the correct way to measure intelligence? When we think about the amount of media consumption formats that are available to us and the amount we use at once, is it possible anymore to focus on one thing at a time and give that topic your undivided attention? Right now, as I write this article. I have Microsoft word open on my laptop, my work phone which is on the floor buzzes every time I get a message from a colleague on Slack (which is very often). Whatsapp never fails to make me aware when someone wants my attention on my personal phone which is on the sofa to the right of me. My tablet which is also on the sofa but to the left, although currently closed vibrates to let me know when I have a new email and BBC News which is on TV is telling me the latest score updates from the Champions League. I know I have the complete ability to remove all of these distractions to fully focus on writing this piece and will most likely end up with a better article if these distractions were not around but the real question is… Do I want to remove these distractions?

No.

Me, like most young people feel the need to always be connected for better or for worse. Because of this, do we ever get to learn, understand or focus on what we are doing or will we forever remember things what we have heard, read or watched without having used our ability to make decisions for ourselves due to the many media distractions around us.

We may be losing the ability to focus and make decisions on topics for ourselves, resulting to simply relying on our ability to remember and then regurgitate what we’ve heard, read or watched. Does this make us intelligent? Has the influx of media consumptions formats diminished our thinking capabilities?