The Affirmation Society in the Information Age
Can millions of young fans be wrong when they declare that the Jonas Brothers are the greatest music group in the history of the universe?
Of course they can. But they won’t believe you.
Why? Because they have received instantaneous affirmation of their belief, and can do so anytime their faith might be swayed.
Not by music experts, writers, community leaders – but affirmation online by millions of other fans, most of whom they don’t know, nor ever will.
Not terribly important in human history (for anybody but the Jonas Brothers and their benefactors), except when you translate the same human reality to other realms and endeavours: politics, science, religion.
Was 9/11 an inside job? Is global warming a serious, human caused phenomenon? Did Jesus get married and Father several children?
The new answer to all these questions and more is: Whatever you’d like to believe. Any answer you’d like, you can virtually guarantee instant affirmation.
The culture of affirmation used to be described to us by our leaders, media, politicians and opinion-leaders as the social domain of the strange and the perverse: racists, conspiracy-theorists, child-molestors, UFO abductees, etc.
The Internet has changed all that.
What are the consequences of mass affirmation, and how do we evolve as a society from here?
Perhaps we will transcend, as humans often do, into a new, more educated, media-savvy and otherwise street-smart society.
Or, perhaps we’ll devolve into a society of affirmed self-righteousness, until it ultimately descends into societal collapse, or human extinction.
It’s food for thought.
Next time an otherwise intelligent person comes to you with some crazy idea, as seen on the Internet, send them this article, and have them answer the question.
In the meantime, go Jonas Brothers – the greatest musicians ever!!