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Before we will begin I just wanted to tell you a bit about the movie that we are working on. This clip was done by Shimi Cohen, which was one of my student at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in ISRO. I was the mentor for this project. This movie became viral overnight with more than 4 million views and rising. It's also won few prices such as the creativity award of 2013 post the film festival.
The video shows the paradox created by social networking. On the one hand, the purpose of social networking to create harmonization between people and the preservations of human relations. And on the other hand, it shows that since the establishment of the social networks, people have become more individual and more remote than ever before. This short movie is very subjective and presents the other view of the failures and shortcomings of the Social Networks.
Now let's watch the full movie, four and a half minutes long and then we'll start to dig in. A simple thought. Monkeys that are known to have a developed social life organize in small groups of several dozen members. The size of each of these groups is limited. In order for them to function, all members of the group need to know each other well. The average size of the group changes from 20 to 50 members. When the number of monkeys in a group passes a certain threshold, the social order crumbles and the group tends to split into two separate groups. A similar situation can be found amongst humans as well.
The invention of language and gossip has helped shape larger and more stable groups. Sociological research indicates that the maximum natural size of a group of humans is roughly 150 members. Most humans are just incapable of intimately knowing more than 150 people, so even today, the threshold of human organization is around the number of 150 members. Man is a social creature. And the feeling of loneliness can drive you mad, Yet the Western modern world sanctions individuality. The individual is measured by such as having a career, wealth, a self-image, and consumerism.
In this course of action, many people lose their social and familial connections in favor of a self- actualization ideal. As the social fabric in the western world weakens, it is not surprising that more and more people define themselves as lonely. And thus, loneliness has become the most common ailment of the modern world. One of the possible reasons for this ailment is the online social network. In a world where time is money, in which our surroundings heavily pressure us to achieve more and more. Our social life becomes tainted and more demanding then ever before And then there's technology, simpler, hopeful, optimistic, ever young, we become addicted to virtual romance disguised by the social network which supplies an impressive platform that allows us to manage our social life most effectively.
However, our fantasies about substitutions are starting to take a toll. We're collecting friends like stamps, not distincting quantity versus quality, and converting the deep meaning and intimacy of friendship with exchanging photos and chat conversations. By doing so, we're sacrificing conversation for mere connection, and so a paradoxical situation is created in which we claim to have many friends, while actually being lonely So what is the problem in having a conversation? Well, it takes place in real time and you can't control what you're going to say and that is the bottom line.
>> Texting, email, posting. All of these things let us present the self as we want it to be. We get to edit. And that means we get to delete. Instead of building true friendships, we're obsessed with endless personal promotion. Investing hours on end building our profile, pursuing the optimal order of words in our next message, choosing the pictures in which we look our best, all of which is meant to serve as a desirable image of who we are. We're expecting more from technology, and less from each other. The social networks aren't just changing what we're doing, but also who we are, and that's because technology appeals to us when we are most vulnerable.
And we are vulnerable. We are lonely, but we're afraid of intimacy. While the social networks offer us three gratifying fantasies. One, that we can put our attention wherever we want it to be. Two, that we will always be heard. And three, that we will never have to be alone. And that third idea, that we will never have to be alone, is central to changing our psyches. It's shaping a new way of being. The best way to describe it is, I share, therefore I am. We use technology to define ourself by sharing our thoughts and feelings, even as we're having them.
Furtherfmore, we're faking experiences so we'll have something to share, so we can feel alive. We slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us feel less alone. But we are at risk, because the opposite is true. If we are not able to be alone, we're only going to know how, to be lonely.
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