A Near-Science Fiction story “Year 2071: Studying the historic events of the Era of Contradictions”
“Alright class, search for the words ‘Page 334 in Ages of Internet Psychology’ .”
“What we are going to study for the next couple of sessions is the events of the beginning of the century and the people during the that time.”
“Keep your document open in a tab so we can go back to it. Who can tell me what they know about this time before we begin?”
A mic icon lits up next to a list of names on the monitor in front of a hand full of kids in a small class room.
A feminine-teen voice rings over the classroom speakers “A lot of people died and most of the people around the world stayed inside their houses?
“Good, that’s one of the events. Who can search for some media during this time?”
Sounds of light taps on a flat surface and clicks on analog devices fills the room and speakers while the teacher waits for a reply.
A minute later several chimes ding on the device in front of the teacher. The teacher pushes the thumbnails for each piece of media onto the bottom of the main video stream as they looks over the what the students post.
“Wonderful. I see some good results for talking points. Now I want everyone to open up their tab to the document and I will ask each of you to read out a passage. Beginning ….with… Johanson. Start with the fifth paragraph down in the chapter.”
The soft ruffle of finger tips adjusting a microphone activates another Mic-icon on the classroom monitor and the sound of young male creeks over the speakers.”
“..um.. With the majority of the public feeling the strain of social pressures, a lot people looked to their social feeds for comfort. There were reports of more people gathering around the same mindsets also known as echo-chambers. These echo-chambers were originally a product of algorithms and marketing tools to connect people under select meta data to profit from similar tastes. The real effect of these echo chambers began later when it began to trickle down into politics and news organisations that used these same tools.”
“Thank you, Johanson.” The teacher clicks on one of the thumbnails on the bottom of the screen and opens it up to the main video stream.
What appears on the screen is a picture of a political cartoon that comments on how social media is shouting over the timid news outlet.
“During this time the majority of the news outlets were independently own. Even before the creation of the internet, there was a limited infrastructure for news outlets to be funded by federal support. Many of the old news organisations had to close due to how investigations were selected and prioritized based on local resources and the organisation’s business practice to compel towards the growing need to make nationwide trends. A whole bunch of folks feeling real FOMO on a limited budget.”
“Next will be… uh.. Melissa. Start where Johanson left off.”
A girl stands up in the classroom and begins to speaking towards to the tablet in her hands.
“Alright. *ahem* Even though people understood the existence of echo-chambers and how toxic actors will lash out at other people online, the collective public was not aware of just how their perceptions of everyday life was quickly shifting from local expectations towards national or even global expectations. Even people on the outskirts of these echo-chambers began to shift their public perceptions of what they should expect to happen in other areas of the country. Citation link, Overton Window. ….Do I click on this, Mr. Oliver?”
The teacher looks up from their device and says “It’s not necessary right now. If some of you want to read up on it while listening, ya’ll can click on it but you can continue reading this entry, Melissa.”
” -‘Kay. *ahem* It wasn’t until a decade later that sociologists began discussing things like the idea of Super Overton Windows as public tools. This is where the measurement of one overview of public discourse is broken up into multiple windows to better reflect how every area has multiple groups public discourse.”
“Thank you, Melissa. You can stop there.” The teacher clicks on another thumbnail and opens another piece of media to the main video stream.
A video plays of a public protest. Some of the people in the video are wearing American flag handkerchief, most of them are holding up picket signs that have the words freedom or tyranny on them. This sounds of the protesters shouting in the video lowers in volume as it plays and the teacher begins to give their commentary on the situation.
“In this video, most of the folks believe there are just a handful of identities of their fellow Americans. Some historians have looked back on this and labeled this as the Era of Contradictions. Other than our obvious go to examples on contradiction during this time period, a lot of folks at this time protested in the name of independence but demand that other states to follow the same goals as their own state. Again FOMO playing a big part on the public psyche.”
The video stops and the teach closes the video. “Next is Arthur. Start where Melissa stopped, please.”
A small teen stands up the class and looks down to talk to his tablet.
“With tools like the Super Overton Windows being use in public forums, people started to discuss online about how there are multiple paces on the internet and nations as a whole. With this the politics and businesses of America started going back to the idea that America was a nation of United Individual States that each had their own paces for resources and infrastructures under the federal’s umbrella infrastructure for support. The push back from these public discussion came from big businesses and large political groups. Both of which measuring their revenues from national models that resulted in making local growths across different area compete against each other.”
“Thanks, Arthur.” The teacher says to stops the student. “What was happening to everyone at that time is they were using the internet to compare different locations against each other. While the internet brought everyone together and social group found each other online, independent perceptions of the world began to dwindle. A person’s SuperEgo, link here,” a box appears on top right corner of the main video stream.” ..is mostly made of select expectations from the people they surround ourselves with. So with echo-chambers, dwindling news outlets, and more businesses having employee goals and profits around less local models; started more and more conflicts offline and online. This time online was a troubling for the public perspective on how we identify ourselves as a nation.”
“People and businesses that were interdependently developed in different infrastructures were trying to competing with each other. It wasn’t until people and businesses were starving and dying on the streets did they realize that they were using limited models to frame societies of differentiating and interconnected purposes. Some time afterwards they were able from multiple ways to grow independently with local resources at their own pace and have other methods of infrastructures in place to help each other and the those less fortunate with interdependent resources.”
The main video stream cuts to the teacher “Things online are obviously set up differently from then but some of you may feel this in yourself. Where you believe that you have to prove to be more independent than they other person, and while that’s good checkbox, it should be more of a side-quest. It’ll help you gain levels for bosses, but it won’t help the over-all party gain levels so they won’t be wiped out by those bosses.”
With a smirk the teacher says, “And with that said here is your group-video homework….”
The handful of kids in the small classroom and all the mic-icons on the classroom monitor light up with groans.