The 3 R's

posted 14 Nov 2011, 16:12 by Jess Maher   [ updated 14 Nov 2011, 16:30 ]

Rights, Responsibilities & Repercussions.

Firstly consider the first R, Rights, that is surely one that myself and other, what I will term loosely as “youth”, have plenty of experience and knowledge of in life... You hear it all too often- “I'm entitled to this..” or “I have rights about that..” Now I'm hardly one who could accuse others of pushing the bounds of these limits but online, its relatively boundless. Most of us who are old enough to remember the threat and impending doom posed by the Y2K bug can appreciate the nature by which we take for granted modern technologies.

Think of the simple task of doing just one thing at a time, for example the washing... In the “old days” people had days scheduled to do the washing or feed the animals.. life was much more simplistic. And maybe as a species, meaning humans, maybe we were “happier” that way. Now days we ALL tend to find “things” to fill our days with. Be it our jobs, addictions, children or others- what ever it maybe, we are all so 'busy' – like little bees we dart around collecting our 'pollen' and finding ways to feed our families.

Responsibilities are a little harder to define. We all see the level of our responsibilities or more accurately, the scope to which our level of responsibility extends differently. Now Freud who is the 'father of modern psychology' once said he thought we had more than “one self”. He referred to it as a “loci”. Now days, more disconnected from our church's- our sense of self, one of our 'loci's' is in the 'hands' of media, more accurately, mass media- TV, radio, the internet (& social networking sites) for starters.

But I doubt Freud knew much about advertising, or at least he really knew little about advertising in this time- giving credit, where credit is due of course- he lived in a time much different to ours (). But any literature will tell you, information overload, especially for youth today, sees one sense of 'self' or one of our 'loci's' as external from us- its in the hands of the screens that occupy our time- be that the computer screen, TV screen, or even our windscreens. Drawing again a reference to nature, think of flowers- any kind you like. They all require either a bird, bee or the wind to be pollinated. In fact, when you look at it in such a way, flowers are natures advertising. But since the time of Freud , we have all become “smarter” and with us, so too has advertising become more manipulative, underhanded and tricky. Psychologists and marketers together have collaboratively developed many 'tricks of the trade' to get us buying more. And as we all become more dependent on the screens that occupy our lives, we are continually tricked and conned.

As for the third R, repercussions, that's obviously one element that is integral to youth today. Bringing in aspects of mindfulness, which is the latest buzz word in psychology at present, it maybe beneficial to considering in interactions online. Thinking of the 'equation' of any given event online, one has the choice to either react or respond. Being that you can be taken by a moment by stopping to think, given that either a reaction or response creates a different or alternative outcome.

Repercussions of ones actions teaches the “acceptable response” from society. In an online setting as with the offline, the social norms are set by common behavior and accepted values. The repercussions enforce what is wrong or right, be that governed by politics, mass media, religion or social networks alone. It should make all users stop and think, “how much is my 'like' worth? What example am I setting? Who really takes notice of what I am uploading and what picture of me does that really paint to others?