Great flocks of tiny little birds demanded my attention for a few days this Fall. I hadn't taken notice of them in previous years but they descended in such large numbers, moving in great clouds as one mind. Captivating. How do they decide to all go to that particular tree all at once? Then decide that the studio roof was next as they rose up in a cloud and descended in choreographed unison. Do they share a consciousness? Is there a leader who directs? Is it a voting system that happens in the blink of an eye? Fascinating.
I like the idea of being part of a flock. We are all missing being able to gather with our tribes and fly free together. I'm a hugger. I'm not coping well. We are these days relegated to a lot of virtual community. I prefer the real world. Real hugs.
Online we are still like a flock in a strange way. Our attention is baited by thousands of shiny things. Algorithms designed to direct our attention here and there. Algorithms also designed to identify exactly what kind of birds we are and what kind of bait we prefer. Advertisers scheming to unlock the code of how to get the greatest numbers of us to look and move in their direction. So much effort to keep our eyes on screens and direct our flight patterns. Really we have a lot of power if we can control what we look at. The machine is designed to create more of whatever is getting our attention. We don't have to look just because something is making a loud noise. Or just because those bohemian boots would look great with that feather printed scarf thingy...
How will we direct the content? What kind of bird are we?