Journal Entry 6-10-20
Today was very normal by all accounts. I had work today, the customer was satisfied with my work and I went back to my apartment. I guess nothing really exciting happened today, but I did have an interesting train of thought yesterday.
I was thinking about a possible solution to social media emotional reactiveness. We all know that people are very emotionally reactive on social media networks like twitter and facebook. I think that if we had the location in terms of the radius of miles away from the message's origin, we could better process these messages without enabling a defensive or offensive reaction.
I base this off the idea that we are territorial creatures. Similar to chimpanzees in that once you enter one's territory you are immediately seen as a possible threat. Our social strata in at least the western world that I'm familiar with dictates that we treat strangers with a certain degree of politeness before assigning a judgement of perceived character to them. However, online, we are psychologically reacting to each message as if the person is in our territory. To treat them like they are right in front of us when in reality they aren't.
This led me to think that if we could show people that those we interact with online are actually much farther away, we could begin to dismiss messages we would otherwise react emotionally to and just chock it up to a different culture. It's interesting that we all know we should care about people suffering. However, when these people are so far away we can't do anything about their situation we tend to care less. Now I'm not saying this is bad, we can't worry about everyone else's problems or else we would feel overwhelmed every minute of every hour.
What instead I am proposing is that we can use this natural inclination to dismiss disagreeable occurrences that are outside of our range of relevance to minimize social media toxicity. If we could watermark every message online with how far away in miles that message was originally sent from, we could maybe see a change in discourse on social media networks. This is an idea I would love to look in to and study more of.
In other news, I'm looking at buying a new vehicle, and there's this really good deal on a truck I saw today. Fingers crossed that the seller responds!