Greta Thunberg brings out the best in us and the worst of us.
There is a troll and bot war being waged against truth, science, and, worst of all, love. And the recipient right now is climate crisis superstar Greta Thunberg.
This is the ugliest side of the internet.
But before we all react and freak out, we need to recognize that some of this isn’t as much a result of direct human actions (which there is plenty of), rather it’s the indirect and insidious programming of humans. Meaning there are algorithms out there that are powered by artificial intelligence and backed by super computers, which are designed to produce and propagate whatever it takes to capture your attention and deliver messaging that makes you react.
It’s a race to the bottom of the brain stem. And it both hypnotizes and programs you to fall to one side or the other.
Many of the humans who are acting in such a seemingly inhuman way—in this case, trying to vilify young, innocent girls—are doing so in part because they are on the receiving end of memes, stories, and narratives that push them further and further away from reality and, ultimately, their hearts. They are likely living in shadow and may very well be exercising the demons of their own traumas.
And none of the above excuses them from attacking (or programming the algorithms that decide to attack) people like Greta who are warriors in trying to preserve humanity, animals, and planet. However, as in most cases of extremism on any side of the divide, we can thank social media for accelerating hate.
Greta and the young people she inspires will not bend to this. Many intuitively and passionately know they are on the correct side of history and that the narrative they are creating and reinforcing will not be silenced.
On the other hand, we need to hold the tech companies responsible for allowing this cancer of divisiveness to persist. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and others have the ability to stop the downgrading of humans and our hearts. The problem is that they won’t fully do it because it compromises their business model (holding your attention to serve up as many ads as possible to you, which is how they make their money), and they are scared of their shareholders, their boards, and the possibility their own wealth will be compromised. It’s a true win-lose economic dynamic that reeks of a scarcity mindset.
Fortunately, we have people like Tristan Harris, who is leading the charge on both naming and illuminating this crisis and courageously speaking out against it.
But we need everyone’s voice on this. And this terrible attack on Greta, her followers, the climate movement, and every other seemingly important movement all serve as yet another set of alarm bells.
So let’s keep the pressure on the tech industry to truly examine their business practices and make some bold decisions to accelerate connectedness and love, illuminated by what we have in common, rather than do whatever enriches them and their shareholders.