My grandfather was part of the "wise men" club in his village. Despite having no formal education, people often asked him to be involved in conflict resolution.
These were usually done in a gathering outdoors. After both sides had an opportunity to vent, the wise men would render a decision. My grandfather, usually the oldest person, would capture everyone's attention by sharing a beautifully crafted story to drive his point.
Those were simpler times.
Fast forward several decades... the internet arrived... and things got complicated...
I remember how excited I was researching about type 1 diabetes for the first time. I once had a doctor tell me that he can’t keep up with the medical literature. Because of my personal incentive, I likely consumed a lot more information than he would.
It is not access or availability but drive that limits how much content the internet can expose you to.
The introduction of social media is also disrupting how we interact. We have earned the illusion of hundreds of “friends”. And we are more lonely and isolated. We restrict our source of information to people we follow.
As this trend continues, the content we are exposed to will be more emotionally charged and far from an objective truth.
We no longer listen to the worries of our village but that of a person who is a click away. We will want that content to be a short gif/audio/video so we can swipe to the next.
We are quickly sprinting to the extinction of the average attention span.
I hope I am wrong about all this.
With technology improvements, I predict that we will get FB/instagram/TikTok remixes for every flavor of the month.
And sometimes, we may get a wonderful platform like 200words. Where a girl from Ethiopia gets a chance to grow with people from Arizona, Indiana, Lagos and Singapore.
In the next decade, the one thing that will help our complex lives is sharing more stories whit each other. Storytelling is the one way humans have maintained the ability to connect.
Even after many centuries, people easily remember the tales in religious texts. People recall the moral of the story or a quote that fits perfectly in an argument. It is the stories woven in the details that captivate our minds. Those stories have kept the message alive and memorable for a long time.
This form of sharing content has survived the test of time. It brings us together and connects us on an emotional level.
No matter where technology decides to take us in the next decade, there is one thing that will not change when it comes to communication.
The craving and effectiveness of a good story.