Posts Tagged ‘authenticity’

28th November
2010
written by Randy

The recent ado surrounding Wikileaks has got me thinking about this new world we live in.

The internet has really changed everything. It’s too easy to communicate. Information spreads quickly. As soon as something happens, it’s distributed to the corners of the earth. And once it’s out there, it’s almost impossible to take it back.

This stretches into all aspects of life. In recent years, I heard a lot of stories about people losing their jobs as a result of things they said on their blogs, or on Twitter or Facebook. But that hasn’t stopped people from using social media.

Instead, we’ve all been forced to learn and accept the fact that what we do and say will be witnessed by everyone. And this isn’t some Orwellian Big Brother fantasy of the government spying on us, it’s us, willingly sharing ours lives with the world.

From the bigwigs in the governments whose secret communications are being distributed around the world as you read this, all the way down to your friends and coworkers whose comments are on your “wall”, we’re all being forced to change.

Secrecy doesn’t work any more. Lies don’t last. It’s no longer reasonable to try to manage people’s perceptions. Today, authenticity is the only ticket to success.

The ruling class — the people in power — haven’t figured this out yet. That’s why there’s such a backlash right now. The CEOs and the politicians and those ruling the world today are products of the old way, and they’re still trying to suppress media and use propaganda to manage perceptions. In fact, if you look, they’re trying harder than ever — the propaganda is thicker than it’s ever been. But this is nothing more than an extinction burst. It’s the last screaming tantrum from a group of people whose old ways aren’t working any more.

The way to success in this post-internet world is authenticity. You can’t hide who you are any longer. You can’t paint a picture of who you want people to think you are, because your words and your actions and the evidence of everything you are will find their way into the public eye.

Authenticity is important because people are going to find out the truth anyway. No matter what you tell people, they are going to find out the truth. And when they do, they’re going to compare what you said to what you did. Whether that comes by Facebook and Twitter, or by an concerted international conspiracy to leak your private memos, the bottom line is that you can’t stop it.

A propaganda campaign requires everyone’s participation to work, but thanks to the internet, the ability to spread the truth requires only one person. Under those odds, propaganda can’t win. Perceptions can’t be managed forever. Information can’t be suppressed.

Authenticity rules in this new world.

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