A World in Black and White

For the users of social media platform (we’re talking billions!), it looks like that we collectively took a huge step back. Almost everything is divisive, and every possible argument is oversimplified until it reaches the yes-or-nay stage. It’s like to take a look at a Mondrian picture, with spaces well delimited and vivid colors to mark every part of the said picture. No, it’s even better: there are only black or white parts, no shades of grey allowed.

The result is similar to a Go board, with variable geometry of black and white groups that revolve around every user, following every day the directions supplied by the aforementioned social media. To be included in your favorite group(s) you have to be white enough (or black) to fill the appropriate minimum level and be active against the opposite. You are also required to show appropriate badges (or images, or sounds, or photos) when the daily tide of media activism reach your threshold.

For undisclosed reasons, you’re supposed to be supportive of everything is related to your chosen field, no matter where (or when!) it’s happening. The idea of something that can be pursued (or denied) by both groups is somewhat heretic, and it’s more than enough to trigger somebody in your field to heavily criticize your actions (the old “holier than thou” theme, no less). Unwritten laws are in effect, so you better watch your steps and think twice before posting. Keep handy some kitten photo, cute dogs are an acceptable substitute.

It’s a marvelous world, a magical realm where absolutes walk between mere mortals, and you can finally don your shining armor and have a parade in your virtual hometown. You may even get a random “like” from some celebrity or a retweet (or a pin, or something equally unsubstantial) from a VIP. Well done, indeed. Horns up and a pat in the back. There is only a little thing that doesn’t work, a slight shadow in that corner. Yes, that one.

It’s difficult to see, I know that. It’s not black or white if you can believe it. It changes without a recognizable pattern, both in size and position. We can call it grey, don’t we? This grey spot cast a shadow on this near-perfect world, it creates a ripple in this bipolar vision of the universe. It looks like nobody knows how to manage it, not to mention remove it from the collective picture. The grey gets its own voice, a murmur in the background that interferes in your inner dialog. Are you really so black (or white)? Is your sworn enemy so white (or black)?

Better post a meme or two, add an unchecked inspirational quote to be sure. No, scrap that quote. It could be misinterpreted. Be quick and create some tongue-in-cheek joke about some eminent opponent. Yes, it much better. Don’t look in that corner. Don’t check the whereabouts of that grey spot. Yes, I know that. There are a bit more grey spots right now, just ignore them. A few hours from now, you will get your daily dose of activism, and everything will be better.

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