Catherine, I don’t doubt hope is ever lost. It’s amazing, the moment you describe. I wonder about the source of our skepticism or hopelessness about technology. Take, for instance, Peeple. If you haven’t heard of it it’s aptly described as Yelp for people. Anyone can rate your character and post it on the web and you have no choice.
I read interviews with the developers and they talked about the number of death threats they have received since word of this app has gone public — viral. The media and subsequently the public has gone up in a storm of fury saying how obrusive and wrong it is. My question is, why do we give so much merit to the negative aspects of technology? Abuse continues because, for the most part, chats aren’t policed. Peeple can gain the attention of the world because we gave it to them.
I think the strongest message social media can give us is one we’re ignoring. We, the people, have the power. So sure, let Peeple exist. But let’s make it a place so filled with stigma and disdain no sensible person would enter. After all social media isn’t intrinsically credible. Our usage, not it’s existence, makes any piece of technology credible.