Under the influence, over the media: do we sound normal and is it good?

The most talked about documentary of the year, apparently, was not Dirty Money. That’s too boring for social media. But still on Netflix, they were all over The Social Dilemma, an intersection of interviews with media and communication specialists (particularly, I don’t really like the word pundit, but I learned what it meant taking an online course for free) and dramatized sequences of narratives of corporate control which for some reason was on a spaceship and the average household where the lunch table is used at random times by different people — but we need the universe to correct each path so that things can properly function, so the family sits together without phones and the young girl breaks a jar to check her notifications.

Having broken a screen before, I understand there’s a valid metaphor in social anxiety being a factor motivated by domestic mismanagement; my doubt is whether this is what they were trying to say or maybe point out that whatever meal the family picked was meant to be there because industries had planned the entire process from production to distribution and consumption — some college students will remember Fairclough. I produce tweets. Whatever. I share less than I should, because your perspective is not always what people want — a lesson learned. But lastly, I’ve been observing how I’m aging, and I guess I could be looking at a happier situation in terms of how I consume media and even meals.

For the Brazilians reading this, there was a very interesting article approaching influence, fake news, attention and control published on the USP newsletter. Let’s categorize. A university niche producing content that college students would relate to, but also be inspired to do further research and find solutions to problems they came across, contributing to future analysis and the betterment of society. That’s not a newsletter. But not a newspaper, cause we’re online. It’s an article, but for the academics, that’s one thing, and story, for the social media user, is another. Still, if the question is attention, how about we look at Instagram? For example, teaching in 60 seconds wasn’t working, so everyone expanded advertising tools and there’s lives and IGTV — a lot more content. But how much are we going to follow? More importantly for many, how is this a safety net?

Another piece, this time in English, gave examples of the current landscape remodelling the relationship between brand and public, with empasis on success stories based on mood and lifestyle; the question remains, however, around who gets to participate, not just gaze. And here, immersed in ads and thinking it’s all for the better, you gotta ask yourself: how does this influence me? But the experiment will point towards the other direction: how much work was put into producing this kind of content which apperently I don’t care so much about?

Creating stuff online is not the easiest thing to do (okay, dad?) and there’s many ways we can look at it: categorization of content is a whole industry, and I’m not even saying the word algorithm because that’s not my point. The thing is, sometimes, we get a little lost and we don’t know what we need to feel better. How we’re going to express those feelings of desatisfaction, anxiety, unhappiness, frustration instead of gratitude, pride, joy and accomplishment is going to vary, of course; but some people do way too much and they started realizing something was off, as a recent piece reported.

The first thing I did when I got my new computer was to try to organize my e-mail inbox. I have a few custom labels, but years ago I found out I could write a rule for where I wanted the message from a specific sender to be delivered. I think I forgot that was possible, but that’s just cause I started using Twitter. And when I look at some of my friends’ activities, it’s a little intimidating. I don’t read that much. I don’t interact that much. Heck, maybe I don’t absorb that much. But I always share what I feel, and I’m a person who feels a lot — which, if I may add, is not widely accepted in a world that turns a blind eye to what they call patriarchy. Or maybe I’m using the wrong keyword. Does that sound like a common problem? I’m not sure. But here’s the silver lining, cause I don’t think anyone needs to hear more about what some of the media being consumed looks like: when we find someone who understands, and feels, and connects, and helps, and guides, and says “let’s make this thing work”, damn, it’s a great feeling. And then you can say: you’re a good influence. Cause you have the facts. And you know everything just feels better. If technology can do that for us, I guess the girl who broke the jar in the documentary really just needed a warm hug.

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