Loving on Life’s Terms today means working with how the world we live in is expressing itself and moving toward each other.
Algorithms are ostensibly in place so that our experiences can be tailor made for us and we can continue to be exposed to content and other people to our comfort. This works, to a point. We don’t leave our “comfort zone.” We see only like minded people, threads and posts. We are affirmed.
Algorithms isolate us. The Gap of understanding, love and tolerance widens. We are left behind. We are left alone. We are left frightened. We are left questioning. We are left gathering up those around us with similar algorithms.
Here’s a quick test: if you search on someone else’s phone, tablet, computer, watch, you will receive different options than the pages offered by your algorithm.
Note that your screen offers a specific set of podcasts, news items, posts and moderators than my screen does. Our algorithms are different.
Algorithms cannot change. They are programmed to continue to hone what you see, hear and feel in one direction and one path.
When speaking at conferences or in small groups, my favorite exercise is to ask folks to look at and tally how many pages of apps they have on their phones. Look into system preferences and note how many notification services they allow. Turn those off. Turn off the apps and the notifications. Notice how it feels to walk through the next 24 hours without easy access to those things. When 24 hours pass, choose wisely those apps and notifications you want to turn on again. [Note: if you can tolerate the discomfort, try this exercise for 48 hours or 96 hours. You can check in any time. Just make the conscious effort to seek the app or the items you are notified about.]
We live in a time of isolation. Walls have been built, effortlessly, by algorithms. Our isolation is exacerbated by sheltering in place, racism and other factors. We have lost the ability to tolerate our emotions when we hear another’s experience. Fear takes over.
In the next few weeks, I encourage you to thwart your algorithm.
Mind the Gap, thwart your algorithm, listen to others, manage your fear. Sometimes the next step forward is to stay in place for a breath or three and decide how to face forward with others. Even when we don’t agree. When we step away from our algorithms and note that others influenced by their algorithms too, we move toward each other.
Loving on Life’s Terms today means minding the gap, minding the algorithm and minding what we have in common.