I had a chilling thought yesterday about the effects of excessive exposure to everyone's thoughts online:
It's easy to mock the excited posts of people celebrating new jobs and enjoying a small moment of victory in an otherwise difficult life. I used to dedicate my entire LinkedIn to laughing at these seemingly vapid posts.
But I was reflecting recently on why these posts seem vapid… In fact, it's not because they are inherently empty or poorly written. A lot of it has to do with the fact that we see them written in the exact same way all the time… And they're targeted at no one in particular, so they sound generic.
Why this struck me is because we've done to communication what we've done to fashion, furniture, and many of the arts: by commodifying it so extensively, we've rendered so much of it null. In a vacuum, proclaiming excitement about a job to a small group of friends is quite nice. We're all happy to celebrate with the new recruit. However when it's placed in a feed next to 100 others that are written in the exact same way, we're suddenly inclined to feel like this is disingenuous and egotistical.
So much like we feel a little disappointed when we realize that everyone has the exact same dining set from IKEA as we do, we project a similar disappointment at the idea that so many people are constrained by a lack of originality.
This will only further be exacerbated by all the emerging digital twins which are replicating our writing styles and voices. Soon, we might hit a point where the written word or digital video will feel as cheap as the dollar store.
Video calls in remote work made it feel slightly less important to meet in person… we might soon get to a point where even the video calls aren't enough. The value of in-person interactions, which is already the highest for building a connection, might gain a necessary layer for trust-building.