For a vast wilderness, social media proved to be the opposite: you have tunnels and caves, and the outcome is different than the whole expand-your-world idealism it once promised. Nor do we see people becoming less judgemental, or more likely to modify or adjust their world theories.
In my career, I have done several things, but three that stand out: (1) I have (a) written about the veracity problem in journalism that, (b) lead to its collapse; (2) I had founded and ran a feminist-based hard news website called Chaser News, and (3) I created and continue to run A Dangerous Woman Story Studio that has a Matriarchal Structure of interconnected stories where the meaning and spoilers change depending on the stories you read and in what order you read them.
These are public works. My books have been reviewed and used in academic journals and books, and are sitting on libraries and university shelves around the world, and I gave numerous interviews about them, and I still talk about journalism here. Chaser News got press on television and in print. A Dangerous Woman works have also gotten mentions and are still active on Kindle and Kobo.
So, if anyone were to research online, they would come across all of these facts.
Except they don't bother. If it pops into their heads, they think they called it, history be damned.
I have heard of people saying there really ought to be a book on how to spot real news from fake news.
There is and it was published in 2005. I am the author of it.
I have heard people acting as if they discovered that journalism is dead.
That's what this site is here for and the book I wrote last year is coming in a few months time. You can get a preview of it on Amazon.
I have read articles how there is no feminist version of the Intercept -- I toiled with one before there was an Intercept way back in 2007.
I have also heard there aren't any fiction presses that are specifically created to be general audience, but also woman-centric.
I have been toiling at that since 2013.
I am not looking for applause, but I am not sitting around to be ignored, either.
Social media has become a cave, and there is an annoying tendency on the part of Millennials that they assume the world began with their arrival, and anything that happened before them doesn't count.
Oh, yes it does.
You did not invent civil rights or activism. You didn't invent feminism. Just because none of your friends know something, doesn't mean that something doesn't exist.
Being historically illiterate makes you ignorant in other ways as well.
Before you go off on a rant, find out first whether you actually have a case to rant about.
That bad habit expanded to include older people who are also behaving like Neanderthals, but it goes much deeper than ignoring the past works of people not on your Twitter or Facebook feeds.
Snapchat is social media that has a short-term memory -- and then pretends to disappear, and people's memories are mimicking that self-centred dysfunction.
Unless it pops up right in front of someone's smartphone, it does not exist. It is all reaction, and no reflection.
It gets worse in other respects: people have become tribal and highly intolerant of ideas and opinions that do not align with their own. Drop contacts from your social media feed because they are not applauding your gods, and point out their weaknesses.
Worlds do not expand, but restrict.
Then there is the obsession with selfies: when the Kardashians got media attention for staring vapidly in their smart phones and snapping nudies of themselves, all the other vapid followers did the same, thinking they'd get free publicity with it, too.
The idea of a social network became an oxymoron: people forgot about social, and they cut off the networks, turning their online environments into caves where they never looked beyond the writing on their own cave walls for validation.
Most university students know about "Plato's Cave" where the people shackled inside do not believe the one who went outside and saw a bigger world out there:
That's my notes from my own Sociology of Knowledge and Culture class I took as an undergrad. Most people fancy themselves as the liberated one, not the one staring at the cave wall.
The social media feed.
They think the whole world is on their godphone. It is not.
It is the real you need more than one source to get your information.
It can seem as if you are -- but it is an illusion. If all your contacts share the same beliefs, and you keep shutting down and dismissing people who do not fit into your narrative, you have a serious problem.
You are not one to venture outside your cave. You are amused by the flickering lights of the fire and the shadows on the wall. Journalists may whine about the declines in readers, but they took easy shortcuts called Kardashians and Trump, and never expanded people's ideas or understanding. Social media took care of the rest.
We are in an age where people do not see outside their own selfies. They do not respect the notion that they do not know everything, and are not gods, let alone kings and queens.
They ignore the works of those who struggled to pave the path before them, and then rant and rave at those who dare venture to wide open spaces to see what more there is to life than staring at a wall.
We have returned to an emotionally and intellectually primitive era. We may know to use more sophisticated words, but the base of our knowledge, intellect, and empathy have regressed. That collective immaturity cost journalism its credibility and relevance to the world. There are ways to combat it, but it takes more than just academic rigours.
It takes an understanding that a cave can as easily be a smartphone -- or ivory tower. So long as we stick to our caves and ideological tribes, we will keep regressing as we know and understand less than we ever have before.