People Don’t Talk Anymore; and What the Word “Sequester” Really Means.

Back in 2009, I said “Facebook is a broadcast of the ego, or a cry for help.”  I made those comments as I moderated an MIT EF program on “Marketing through Social Media.”
You can see this reference at about 1:06 in the following video:


Despite the tremendous benefit of instant sharing that Facebook and other social media platforms provide, the core usage remains “a broadcast of the ego or a cry for help.”    Don’t believe me?  Go ahead and take a look at your newsfeed.  I bet by percentage, most of the posts you follow constitute someone’s personal broadcast or a request for individual help.  I’m not immune to such posts, but I sincerely try to keep it to a minimum.  After all, you are what you eat – or in this case of information, what you consume.  If you consume ego broadcasts and/or cries for help, this will most likely be what you regurgitate.  As far as Facebook, the entire concept is rooted in connecting University students on campuses – across campuses – in Zuckerberg’s case – to show off to a girl (i.e. get laid).

At least once a year, I conduct a digital cleanse.  I simply do not login to any social networks.  I keep my email use limited and I spend more time on very conscious campaigns that involve “real” sharing.  This has always been an opportunity to reset, to recharge my batteries and to remind me what I should be consuming.  It’s far too easy to literally define yourself by what people think of you on these fictitious portrayals of your true self; rather than defining your self through your actions and your efforts.

Given the news in Washington D.C. today, I think it’s appropriate we talk about the negative effects of too much information.  I first began to see the consequences of the moment by moment bombardment of information (often false) during the 2012 elections.  Every day I saw people from both sides of the party lines posting articles substantiated by 1 line statements like “binders full of women” that literally reversed the actual intent and value of the statement to serve a desired point of view.  This happened a lot last year and it keeps happening.

When I was growing up, we had 3 basic sources of information (news stations) all broadcasting for about 60 minutes each evening – we were forced to listen to all points of view and then engage in discussions to understand further implications.

The unfortunate reality is that People don’t talk any more.  Instead, they get on Facebook or Twitter or email or text and exchange posts, tweets, updates.  By not talking, they are consuming information that serves their preconceived notion and the end result is a complete isolation – or sequester.

Isolate or hide away (someone or something):
A general cut in government spending.
Now it’s one thing when this isolation happens with the every day person, but it’s a completely other thing when it happens at the Government level.  It’s been happening more and more and it’s reached a crescendo that I and you, my faithful reader, will pay for.  Now, before you ask “who’s responsible”, consider that we all are by the fact that the new forms of communication limit, if not terminate, our openness to opposing viewpoints.  After all, as long as you have access to Google and some cohorts via Facebook, you can always find some data that supports your position.  But, this does very little to learn about the opposing point of view and engage in a discussion that will eventually lead to compromise.  We’re seeing the negative effects at the highest levels and I want no part of it.
During this cleanse, I will do my part in talking more with my colleagues, friends, and families.  Though I’ll probably be exposed to significantly LESS information, I expect the learning to exponentially grow.
I’m not suggesting you start your own digital cleanse, but for everyone’s sake – put away your phone from time to time.



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