Why Should Kim Kardashian’s ‘Ugly Crying’ Be Social-Platform Ok For Her To Broadcast and Not Ok When I Do It Too?
Waking Up To Trust, Culture & Identity Online: Emotional Range And Accuracy, Ownership, & Trust Of Information Culture Of The Digital Selves
There is something happening to Identities and it is that there are several of them existing simultaneously within and outside of us all-the-time and at all-times now.
If this if your first stop by my Medium, I tend to write about Difference, Trust, Ethics (morals, values, norms, behaviors), Culture(s), Security, and Safety as it plays within societies of man, and now, man-and-machine. Once you’ve opened that can of worms, you’ll see that I unpack those by diving into the waters of design & innovation, technology, geopolitics, psychology, nationalism, planetaryism, governance, and beyond.
This post will specifically explore several aspects of “digital identities” and culture shaping around them (in real life and inner/intra-app). Then, it will pry at a few aspects of a Trust Dilemma (or Trust Paradox) of the now that is seeping into a future that we can actually shape if we woke up. This future is one that needs a bit of shepherding — especially considering that it deals with the accuracy and perception of Our “online selves”, Our online selves’ collected data by individuals, companies and governments, and the individual data points that others gather and weigh about Us when they consume Our content (or information). These three states of “being” are relevant now, but will mature as AI, machine learning, and automation start to have dialog around out input-output of data streams and metadata.
With that in mind, how do we teach our children values and morals to live by in this new Culture and Identity if we ourselves are so grossly unaware to our behaviors or even of the intentions of the powers that be holding deeper insights on “Us” within “our identities” within our digitized selves?
If we haven’t met yet, I’m Sloane. If you had to label me, I’m Your Representative. If you had to label me further, for now, you could say that I’m a very special kind of “policy person”. Special in the sense that I address and tackle problems super duper from the inside-out-and all around (at all levels and dimensions) in order to creatively approach, dream up, architect, and produce programs, projects, and insights to address or amplify those problems. These problems are in the now and everyday, but they go toward an expanded future that I envision of needing a whole new set of representation that currently does not exist and currently is not being addressed by current powers.
My “policy” work is generally brought on by in depth and first hand field researching and experiencing — or “secret boss” style if you are familiar with the show — followed by. In being a “policy person” for our future, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been a traditional career path by any means. I creatively science solutions while 100% on an entrepreneurial journey to do so, so please know that these opinions do no represent that of a particular company, government, or organization (other than my own).
Let’s kick this off. I did something daring the other morning: I shared — or as my Facebook and Instagram audiences would maybe interpret — exploited — a very painful moment by delivering it as intentional — diary style— content. It was truly a status update. It was a true moment of concern. And I voiced those things out loud. It was news. My news being distributed across my personal social networks.
I’m coming to you today because I’ve had some time now to reflect on if my choice to post this moment and weigh if it met the original intention of why I wanted to upload it. I’ve taken the time to accept, process, and embrace the reactions it triggered across my “social network” (real and digital space), and I also got to sift through some of the larger insights with which it left me. Let’s get started, shall we?
Facebook’s mission statement and vision:
To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
Instagram’s mission statement:
To capture and share the world’s moments through photo and video features.
With my cultural interpretation of Facebook and Instagram, I made the choice to record myself balling my eyes out while discussing some big real concerns that I have about myself, those with whom I would like to collaborate, and with what’s going on with society.
My decision to record was to 1. diary style to document my emotional state. 2. then openly share across my Facebook and Instagram accounts to express to my community a big concern. When the wave of saddness crashed, I pulled my car over to respond to my emotions and as I burst out into tears, I realized that there was a message that wanted to get out and get out to loudly. I document emotional moments and responses quite often, and I share it on my Instagram and Facebook pages. This just happened to be tears of frustration and confusion accompanied by voice instead of what I usually record and communicate which showcases: mistrust, anger, happiness, contemplation, and so on.
So, I opened the “camera” on my iPhone and saved to my Photos for myself to capture the full range of my emotions in real time to the moment so that I could let it out and then go back to it later on.
In the moment of broadcast, I was aware of the emotional realness of what I was about to broadcast and I really do stand by the words that I expressed. I was also aware that I forced an assumption that: if all of my content and it’s context was consumed by all of my audience, the point of the video would be understood because enough back history and recollection as to my history would.
Here are several big questions to begin this discussion: What is the difference between the media and social media coverage/broadcasting? Is there even a difference? What is the difference of authority if it is you, a “journalist” or media company, or a notable figure producing then disseminating the information on a platform? What if it is a set of data delivered that is contrived or processed “unfairly”? What is censorship - perception — deception anymore? How can we have full and more complete pictures of ourselves and of those that we “know”? Do we want to know people more fully (as we do with ourselves?)? Who is there to protect us in this time of heightened public and highly personal information? What is public and personal information? “Who am I”?
Long story short, We are afraid of Our emotional range. As a society, we haven’t come into consciousness individually. And if we are on our path toward consciousness, it is an individual journey that can sometimes leave a big big part of the equation out: not just acceptance of the self, but acceptance of others.
So in the laaaaaarge picture of Your digital histories and digital personas, let’s snapshot an look through the lens of individual emotional resonance when an emotional piece of content comes our way. If we (the consumer of the media) receive a piece of information containing rich and heavy emotional quality, how is it internalized then by the viewer? When We emotionally resonate with something do we too have an emotional reaction? Is it knee jerked or out of empathy? Most of the time, yes, we do have an empathetic response. This comes from the silent communication and visual recognition cues in facial language processing that we developed as babies. The emotional resonance and emotional reaction starts to get confused internally on what We do with our emotional reactions when the emotion is something for entertainment versus something for societal action.
If it’s a celebrity, HuffPo will cover your meltdown with high news value:
What we are not afraid to exploit is the emotional states of others for entertainment:
What we are not afraid to capitalize off of is the hard work and emotional range that others (out side of our networks) display in order to champion and fight for causes that are huge social issues that we feel no need to do something about.
What is the divide between celebrity, recognizable, or notable anymore? We are all “general users” on the same social networks. Some just have a wider audience, but all of the content is in itself “Equal”. Shouldn’t the user’s emotional range also be free to broadcast to our audiences? I say yes. Especially when we are truly sharing something deep, something rooted in our lives/work, and something that profoundly moves us.
Even America Ferrerea can do it and it’s heard loudly.
We have fear in that our content will build a skewed image of “our identity”. There are all sorts of complicated things like mistrust or insecurities that come up for the “general user” when choosing to broadcast a moment of vulnerability with our digital social networks and online communities. But what is that “actual” identity here?
Let’s get a few definitions of identity going.
Cry-baby Kim doesn’t help. complex will occur: that the emotional range that they will not 1. be as accepting of me as I am with myself knowing my emotional range or 2. have had remembered enough of all that you’ve shared with them about you to connect some dots on their own as to some variations or reasons as to why you might be emotional or be sharing something.
There is a very deep action demonstrated throughout social-media and the current practices of distributed media: deception (remember this post for a future commentary on data deception).
What happens when the data sets that we operate within truly become much more complex, scraped, and are generated (meaning, we’ve trusted the machine to contrive a post or “Share” on our account or even create something that is “ours” based off of what “it knows” about “us”)? What if the way we are shaping general perception of information that we receive on a “Trusted” platform really is skewed, manipulated, honest, raw, real, or just?
What is one of the big issues affecting society here?
For starters, we are operating in a mid-last century framework of manners, norms, appropriate or permissible individual behavior and all and every power of the 5th Estate (social networks and blogs) has shown us that quite clearly that these beliefs of what we were or who we should be according to the powers that be then isn’t who are, at all, in today’s times.
But what we are still recovering from is a fear of acceptance — a really huge fear to let our resilience-guards down to switch shifts with vulnerability. We are taught that release and reflection into our emotional states are “wrong”. When did our psyches become so taboo?
I bring this up for a very big reason. In the age of heightened personal insights and advanced machine learning, what is secure/safe and what is impressionable, real, or deceptive? There is a real deep propensity to trust apps, platforms, log ins, links, packets of data, visualization of data, and etc. But with so much out there, the problem is not just going to be search as data grows, but rather two things: authentication of insights and an authentic build of complexity while also experiencing time.
In the kerfuffle of personal posts and self-curation now a days it’s really hard to see a “complete” picture of ourselves. That’s why many have been either fully transparent (perhaps ignorant) with their media or highly curated so that their digital perception is exactly what they push out.
I’ve been thinking a lot about “personal brand” and “digital image” and what it will take to “get to that next level”. As traditional resumes die out, how our projects and lives are curated online will inherently shift on over and into a way of perceiving the individual, resonating with their thought processes, their experiences, their work, their choices, and etc.
The piece of video and written media that I shared had a level of raw pain that completely rocked my social media followers and made some of my oldest friends deeply concerned about “me”.
On the flip-side of this, if I was my “audience” and I didn’t have the complete picture on what I’ve been up to or even perhaps that we didn’t know each other, yes, I too would be concerned and want to know more about this individual. The way that I would do this is by gathering as much information and background before allowing myself to jump to a conclusion. By opening a perspective to a different framework, one could allow for a more complete picture to be built simply by collecting more information. From gathering a broader and more robust sense (by having more information), perspective can be shifted and therefore, so too can the perception of the information that was delivered.
After doing a bit of this work, one might think about approaching that person differently by knowing more, then be able to perhaps see why they were feeling so strongly about something.
Let’s look at what is deeply embossed into the bottom line here: there is no personal accuracy in what is delivered now a days because the interpretation isn’t up to us as individuals and there really are no middle rules or norms of what is and isn’t digital-socially appropriate behavior. In the Fifth Estate, all goes. We “know” that “nudity”, “pornography”, “defamation”, “slander”, etc. are all “bad things” and that these things can get flagged or reported to eventually be taken off of the platform by administrators.
Something on top of that is that we are in a really sensitive time where social norms and behaviors are massively and widely being reshaped and exercised both by our digital communication, behavior in device, and who we are in reality.
There is strict self indulgence and delivery of personal narrative that is inclusive and inspires greed, selfishness, or even mastery of highlighting moments and experiences without expressing a full range of emotion or why it is that we with such gratitude for our paths to have taken us to those shared moments.
There is entitlement, misunderstanding, and a real skew to perception of online and real selves. This duality of the digitized self presents a real dichotomy of behaviors and interpretation that will only get more complex once bio and neurological data is infused into the everyday and the everyday posts and updates. I — for one — am myself across all of my “personal” digital mediums. Meaning, the accounts or platforms where published content is content that I produce or publish by me.
It seems like our complete journeys don’t matter. It seems that our full range of emotions do not matter. And that they do not matter appropriately. I say appropriately because of the use of data and insights by the government, corporations, and highly connected media helping a certain class stay in power when we need to be powerful within ourselves and with our communities.
So, I’m going to focus back and have us continue to truck along the track of this article.
All of this was because of an emotionally raw video that I captured in the moment it was happening and the fact that I chose to post it. The post had a written message that went with the video:
What rocks you so deeply inside? Today, I want to show you how deeply I feel for the state of our now and our kids futures. Many forget about those that roll up their sleeves to understand the individual and design policy, programs, and develop culture that serves larger constituencies. My work is doing this. It’s unspoken, hard, complex-but-beautiful work. It comes from the inside out and from all sides — within me — you — companies — institutions — policies — investments — actuarial projections — highways — airwaves. Help me build the future that we need to survive!! I’ve been abrasive and cold in person when sharing my research, work, and plans/programs but this is how I feel underneath. The sternness stems from a place of real emotion toward instituting updates. Show me your world. This is mine.
Before taking you through the aftermath, we need to reverse a bit so that I can set up the scene to the video that I intentionally posted.
Over the course of the last two years, my entire life and my experience of living fundamentally shifted. And over the course of the last year, I started deepening my connection to myself, my emotions, and my exposures & experiences in order to find out how I was the way that I was or why I was a certain way. I wanted to optimize the past in order to subscribe to a more full understood present and future. I needed to solve for my safety and security. Also over the course of this period of time and in my research, I deduced that the safety and security
In this deep dive to write the manual of Sloane AND to build out a complex thesis with a companion plan for the future of governance, data, and society, test driving my emotional ranges to best know where, how, when, and why differentiated states (or emotions and behaviors) were occurring was very necessary.
And there were many emotions and behaviors— like — a lot. This deeper understanding of my responses and communication needed to get done so that I could get to work and re-engage with my friends, community, networks, produce around those bigger unknowns, and connect with the public — and they, me.
At the heart of all of this was that not only did I not truly know my happiest self, but others really didn’t know me either. Neither did my educators or really even my immediate family. This then translated into my early engagement in the “workforce”.
I become conditioned to a really bad thing psychologically which was: when I was my most authentic and present self, others that didn’t have the full picture of me became my abusers by giving into the perception of myself that I was giving off to them without letting them know the full picture. And around this, the persona that was received, and the traumatic scenarios that happened, I became conditioned to no longer trust that present and authentic self and rather became very cold, curt, and unrelatable.
So, what rationally followed coming into knowing this, was that I needed to tap into and get in touch with some pretty big asks into certain things that were happening within my life. And it wasn’t just that. I needed to also come from that the other side of the deep dive and really get to know what was going on societally, because I was seeing that there were even bigger things happening to many lives that others were not showcasing on the larger stage where it needed to be vocalized.
There was a lot of detangling and discovery that went down. There were nooks and crannies of myself that I had hidden and buried away. There were even inauthentic elements of character that became foreground of self (outward self) that weren’t even “mine” in the first place! The real kicker was that I had been beginning to reveal parts of me and my experiences that I was keeping to myself that many others needed to see and know due to traumas and aversions that I had never soothed or properly strengthened.
My piece of content (posted a video to my Facebook and to my Instagram accounts) was a contextual piece to signal that am in fact human and that I am also real. I posted a rooted, driven, and intentional emotion filled video. It was really raw. It was really felt. And, most importantly, the intention set behind the share was requited. On top of the direct results, I learned something even greater, that was not intended.
My “network” reacted a few ways. Facebook metrics were: 13 reactions, 9 comments, 9 direct inboxes, 1000 views. Instagram showed 235 views and 6 comments. Out of most of the feedback the two top tiers were: 1. deeply concerned for my well being and mental state and 2. concerned with my personal branding story and 3. they understand the depth of my mission (maybe not the exact mission but the general push) and were there as fellow global shapers to encourage my efforts.
In the time of humanity and a time of a pivotal American presidential electoral race, emotional range at it’s most profound and authentic parts of character that are being taken away from the spotlight, and once again boxing ring politics takes center stage. For example: Liar versus Bigot. Neither option is a great choice when selecting the leader of your nation and champion of your freedoms and security, right? What about the perception of this: Accomplished.
Who is Sloane then? I am a focused, studied, and keenly observant individual. That is my nature and leads to how I produce with my gifts. Also in my deck of cards is an extremely goofy lady that is silly and enjoys pulling good old fashioned tongue-in-cheek gags on my friends and community. I am also someone with a sensitive and deep heart rooted in compassion and champions differences as our equalizing factors. All of these things can get lost because of perception, deception, and action around those two.
I bring up a few high notes to resonate with here for a big big reason. It deals with that second side of my “deep dive” — the civil, civic, and social innovation work that I plan.
Neuro-scensing — Neuro Feedback-loops & Securing the Most Secure Thing That We Have Left: Our Brains
“Our brains communicate through neurotransmitters, that orchestrate the activity of billions of neurons…This enables you to see your brain in action and how it behaves and performs in real time” (NeuroFox).
So what happens when our neurotransmitters and our “Truest” self becomes a data set? How will we look at ourselves then? You need to factor in that, “a person’s brain activity is as unique as a fingerprint and that it can be used to identify a person with 99 percent accuracy (Scudellari, http://bit.ly/28MUVYM)
This is actually is a really pressing paradigm to begin entering. As the world pings and drops packets now, identity, self, and mind-share is a sensitivity. In a time where we are handing over our security from our national-identities and national security, we are in the hands of corporations and digitally constructed social groups that we feel reflect us and represent us.
Now this starts getting interesting to bring in the idea of culture and cultural trends and forecasting of behavior.
I for one think that deepening our sense of self is critical to the survival of Humankind and our relationship with machine. In order for Earthkind to emerge, we truly must address the inner-workings of our emotional states, recovery and processing of memories, experiences, and traumas.
This article has been updated since its original post date.