Social Codes: more digitalisation, fewer values? 

Blake in Venice: “One thought fills immensity..”* from Juame Plensa , 2013. Glass Murano (Purple) Edition 2/4

Like the artist, we agree that just one thought may change and fill all empty spaces, The power of individuals through in-depth knowledge and higher spirits is a game changer for progressing and exploring new shapes of communications. However, this is not what we find on Social Media and on particularly on the new social codes that come when belonging to a digital community. As a difference from traditional social codes, the new ones are forcing us to focus on the anarchy represented by multiple thoughts, instead of the clarity that delivers a harmonic system that allows an explosion of connections and exchange within clarity and purpose. Despite all the positive outputs, values may be under threat if we do not allow the correct spirit to make the codes a clean formula for ethics. 

Today 21th October, World Values Day, we find the perfect day to explore the meaning of Social Codes and their impact on a digitalized life within the pandemics era. Are values changing? Do we need to adapt ourselves to a new era of fewer values or is it just about a new way to communicate?

The power of the Internet exacerbated by the pandemics lay out a new design of how we deal with values. Communication has been maximized as never before, however, there are more social digital codes and no ethical codes. Most of the social media digital rules are based on flat and fast responses with or without being aware of the content. A sort of kind of encouragement to the user and a strong sense of keeping the community “alive” without entering into details. This speed of diving into social media is also turning our communications more superficial and somehow rather fake. Within a direct impact on values, as it supposes a steady action on image rather than on content. Is it a truly new social code and it may undermine values in terms of connecting with others from the honesty and openness that all transparent relations must hold. Is it in this sense that physical stereotypes become key to success, becoming a social code consolidated to the point that those that are not “aligned” are automatically “against the society”. A dangerous path that leaves many others behind and reduces their interconnection to minimum standards or/and only part of a very small group to share their interests. Belonging to an elite group that before social digital codes were considered part of a good reputation, however, now, it may be considered isolation. Seems that most of the work must be displayed at the “screen” if not the “social code” is automatically telling you that you are “out”. 

But, what about individual choices? Is that individual freedom gets a new dimension, or that social codes -at the present shape- undermine it? The more freedom to connect we hold, the less authenticity and capacity to openly decide how much do we need to connect. The consolidation of a social code based on an imposed exchange is not healthy and pushes towards social codes with none flexibility that are demanding an only-one approach. 

Even if we may agree that social codes have always been quite imperative, we also need to see it under the new lights: the first time in history that they are in a global context within a global impact. Is it here that become dangerous, as globalisation tends to adopt standard values without taking into account that when you are integrating all cultures, religions , and traditions in one-size-fits-all means that you have to be as flexible as ever. Making social media a tool rather than a mechanism of living. The more global we become, the more social codes on values to adopt and adapt, rather than impose.

Once digital living is accepted, the next stage is how we can make it a flexible part of our social life, joining efforts within individuals and not individual efforts in just one code. Overcoming the new social codes is part of the process, a huge responsibility from users, and a challenge for the digital platforms. From the popular way into tailored-made groups, including the present shape of social codes and the freedom to choose. Maybe social codes within hybrid platforms are what we need, to fit better and become truly inclusive. 

The power to change is unlimited and transforming entire societies demands innovative social codes attached to traditional values.

The digital world does not need to “change values” not even transform them, just adapt to new models, and when there is a conflict, allow the freedom to build different versions and new shapes of connecting within ethical codes. It is imperative to avoid mediocrity and the decadence that entails when it is one code for all. 

Social codes are part of transitional periods of humanity accordingly to their realities and adapted to their crises. Paradoxically, easily changed when there is the will to do so, from a group of power or just from the power from individuals. In any case, there is a need -somehow a demand from the citizens- to make it flexible enough to embrace those values that better represent the positive evolution of society. A true engine for growth as human beings, more sensible and empathetical.

Social codes are meant to help us to interact on better terms of communications, although not necessary by resigning to values. The new digital social codes are not supposed to be a goal in itself, but the reinforcement of values within a steady and in-depth practice. They are drivers that boost solidarity, generosity, friendship, gratitude, in the end, social cohesion that contributes to global goals as peace, aid, cooperation, etc. 

Multiple ideas working together, having values as the core mission, making the map of thoughts a clean road for whom social digital codes are printing with transparency, and not a popular and fake reflection of the truth.

Social codes: more digitalisation, is demanding more investment in values. 

*https://www.galerie-lelong.com/en/oeuvre/417/blake-in-venice-one-thought-fills-immensity/

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