The enormous amount of time we spend to make our digital selves more attractive, as well as to fertilise other's digital presences via Likes, Comments, Shares, Reviews, and Ratings so that we can mutually benefit by moving up in the Rankings – any type of search results page – is the biggest takeaway for me about digital this year.
Isn't it ironic that social media – a communication channel and platform meant to connect people together – has made it so convenient and rewarding to connect digitally that it has reduced the need to connect physically?
We now Like our friends' kids whom we've never seen, laugh at videos of dogs and cats doing stupid things without petting, let alone owning, one, and enjoy sunsets on beautiful beaches without having to squint our eyes to see the red-orange-yellow fireball descend into the sea. Pictured right: Morris Sim
These digital activities, in the form of "click, click, click" generate Big Data that feed the voracious appetite of machines in the cloud, which demands ever more 0s and 1s to justify its existence and growth. And we don't even have the capacity to analyse the data. What does it say about the evolution of the human race when what we do is make more machines than babies?
Are we in The Matrix?
If we are, I met some "resistance fighters" who are using digital as a means towards another end – physical connections. Ali Bullock of the World Wildlife Fund uses digital to spread the word about plights of animals – the cuter the photographs, the more animals get saved.
Sergio Mello of Satisfly uses social to give people with like interests to sit next to one another on a plane and have a conversation. Weston Hankins has used his technical prowess to help two startups, couchsurfing and 9flats, connect travellers with local hosts. What they're doing may not be your cup of tea, but it has brought a lot of people together in ways that weren't possible before digital, so my hat off to them.