Popularity ≠ Substance

One of the illusions with the rampant growth of social media, and corresponding metrics, is the reinforcing of the distorted notion that popularity, especially on the Web, as reflected by likes, stars, ratings, and comments, is somehow correlated to the substance, depth, and value of whatever content we are reading or looking at.

The actuality is, popularity on the Web has very much to do with what provides us a reactive emotional hit, and very little to do with the longer-range, longer-term significance of what we are reading or listening to. We react based on how instantly striking something is, whether it conforms to our preexisting biases, and whether it provides a momentary high or convenient distraction for us.

On the flip-side, we increasingly seem to not react or hardly notice material that actually deepens our appreciation of life….sublime content that might reflect sophistication, maturity, and evolution. When we encounter more challenging material that requests we slow-down our momentum and reflect for a few moments…we’d simply skip over it.

In our rush for the next drug hit of information bites, we neglect what demands we think more carefully, feel more deeply.

Little do we realize that what encourages us to slow down, think, reflect, contemplate, feel and ponder is good for us. It actually is what’s healthy…very, very healthy. Our minds are becoming nutritionally starved by our addiction to junk, sound-bite social media…and the corresponding pressures and obligation to consume it all.

The commitment we have is to provide content that induces a slowing-down, not speeding up, of our information consumption — we encourage content not to be needlessly dense, but to cultivate needful depth. In the mad race to gulp down as much info as possible, as quickly as possible, we more than ever need to take a pause and methodically harvest what brings us greater temperament and wisdom.

Ranjeeth Thunga
Perspective Mapper

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