20.000 years ago, humans were forced to venture into new lands in search for food and shelter. Everyone was an adventurous explorer. It is hard to imagine such mindset today. We settle easily in the safety of a well known territory. It is only our dreams of a better alternative that we dare to move from our job or from our city. That is precisely the reason why I’m doing this.
In our online Stone Age we inhabited a land of BBS, Usenet groups and IRC chats. We ventured into the immense possibilities of the web, and constructed our first static pages. Blogging simplified and therefore democratized the creative process. Nowadays, social media captured everyone in its inescapable network. The convenience of mobile computing and the significance of your friends’ connection have cemented a winning model. But...
The online models in which we have settled are the result of a very specific evolutionary process. An evolutionary process that, much like our genes, has led to mutating alternatives in search for a better option. It seems our biology has, for thousands of years, mutated to maximize chances of survival. The driving factor is clear. But, what is the driving factor that led us to social media? What have we tried to maximize?
Unfortunately for the billions of people that every day camp in the huge tribe of social networks, the driving factor is not survival, nor happiness or human realization. It is shareholder value. Within the boundaries of the ethical framework of those who manage social networks (which I won’t judge here), users are considered revenue generating assets. The vast online cities that we inhabit today are designed to extract as much value as possible from its citizens. Unapologetically. The model has proven so convenient and attractive that we have willingly surrendered to it. Perhaps not willingly but inadvertently. And just like our physical cities—despite their unquestionable economical advantages—threaten the sustainability of our planet and the sanity of our minds, social media is threatening our online ecosystem.
So just like our adventurous grandparents left the comfort of their settlement to look for better alternatives, I will do the same in the digital realm. This trip will either be deadly for me, or a complete waste of time and effort, but I am determined to do it. I had already refused to live in social media for a while now, but felt I lacked a space to share what is meaningful to me. My blogging efforts took me so far, as there is much more I was not doing. Like everyone else, I’m in search for insightful, interesting and inspiring topics that trigger my curiosity. None of what I’ve found in the road have I ever shared, as I was not comfortable with the available outlets. I felt there had to be another way. This will demand different thinking.
To begin with, I’m creating a private space, accessible only by invitation. This will allow me to start small. Small creates opportunities long forgotten, and I want to explore them. I will open as few as 8 spots in the beginning. 8 people will get to join, chosen in strict first-come-first-serve, and become the very first inhabitants of this new space. They will witness and shape its creation. 8 people are also an extraordinary counter balance to the siren songs of social media. As opposed to the exhibitionist theatre of social media, this space will be a friends gathering. So that’s what I’m offering. Dare to jump with me in this trip, help me shape something different, who knows where this journey will take us.