Harald Schirmer - es kommt nicht nur darauf an, was wir tun, sondern WIE wir es tun!

The power of Social Media and its danger

This is one of the best #TED videos about #SocialMedia taking a critical look at it – from one of the starters Wael Ghonim of the #arabianSpring who puts it in very concrete messages.

#attention versus #quality in posts – is what we blame media for – but we do exactly the same.


Here are his to 5 conclusions in short:

1. We can not handle rumors

2. We create chambers of like minded

3. Others are also humans

4. Opinion change is hard because of speed of conclusions

5. Shallow statements win over discussions


I had the same experience, when I first used IRC chat in 1997 – connecting to people around the world. I was sure this transparency and connectivity can heal the world. Why, because history has shown many times, the better you know someone, the harder it gets to put them in one drawer or fight them – people become human individuals, not races, tribes or religious groups (with no face).

Unfortunately the social media algorithms support our very fundamental desire to „be accepted“ to be „understood“ and to be loved (or liked). The result is, that we connect only with people like us and disconnect those, who are not like us – but we rarely realize that.

Myself, when I just lately checked who of my almost 800 FaceBook friends is „liking“ AFD or PEGIDA – found only 1 (one) – of course the picture I am getting is not the „big picture“ – and surely the same is, if I would have the opposite mindset (everyone in my timeline would agree to what I post – giving me the feeling of „I am right“)


I can totally confirm that the experience behind the sentence:

„I am not alone“

reflects the most powerful and satisfying driver of a movement. I used it as well in our organization to link our GUIDEs together. In our case we built the network on strong values first. We FIRST started the culture development with those great people from 50 countries – and our KickOff event, where they first came together, was the most outstanding experience I have ever made. They became (likeminded) friends across all typical borders (countries, religions, colors, age…) – and many still are.



The Technology of SocialMedia as of today „educates“ us in the wrong way, it prohibits good and open discussions, it separates people with different mindset, it reduces our ability to empathy with normal people and out-balances the relevance of events. I can very much relate to the experience he is talking about – but still believe in the power of people and the internet, but WE need to educate people in a different way.


I really like the approach to build different technology to support that education process – in the end I wish the creators of platforms like FaceBook, Twitter … would see and take the responsibility of a mass changing environment. Still I hope for those awake minds, those great people looking behind the scene, not being satisfied with so many likes a day, but real discussions, real education, sustainable movements and a strengthening foundation built on values, ethics and a moral understanding, which makes this a better world.


Care to share your ideas about it?





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2 Antworten

  1. Avatar von Alexander Klier

    Lieber Harald, ja – das ist in der Tat ein phänomenaler TED-Talk. Habe ihn auch gerade eingebunden.
    Bezüglich der Schlussfolgerungen würde ich noch aufnehmen (und Wael Ghonim spricht es ja an), dass das keine völlig neuen Phänomene sind. Es sind „natürliche“ Eigenheiten von Menschen, die durch die sozialen Medien allerdinigs unglaublich verstärkt werden.
    Insofern wird es spannend werden zu sehen, was die Technik als Technik leisten kann, hierzu bessere Bedingungen zu liefern. Als erste fällt mir dazu ein, dass ich den Algorithmus „Ähnliches zu Ähnlichem“ außer Kraft setzen würde. Das funktioniert m.E. auch in der Werbung nicht so, wie gedacht.

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