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The good things social media is giving the world

As a digital anthropologist, I’ve spent a lot of time in online communities, studying social media as well as netnographic research and humans using technology in the real world. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly over the past decade. While much may seem bad, I’ve seen a fair bit of good and I’m starting to see some broader positive societal trends coming out of social media. Let’s take a look. Animals: From cats being mean to silly and cute dogs and wildlife caught in the act, we can see a shift across many countries and cultures in how we see animals. From pets to wildlife. Although there isn’t any hard scientific evidence yet, anecdotally, we can suggest that humans, who are also animals, are perhaps evolving more meaningful relationships with our fellow animals ad we learn about them and how we can interact. The good that may

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Human motivation is the most elusive quality of all

The internet is awash with self-help advice. Some of it is good. Evidence based and all that. Here is what’s usually missing, in my view: motivation. Let me explain. I don’t mean how to get motivated. I don’t mean how to ratchet up your motivation. I mean the opposite. Well almost. Here’s an example: There’s a small team working on a project. It could be a group of theoretical physicists, interior designers, carpenters, coders, chefs, medical personnel, athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, managers, knitters, or soldiers. At some point it becomes obvious to outsiders that these people are experts. They know their stuff. They work well as a team. In the modern world we would to learn some of their tricks. Why are they so good as individuals and as a team? We would like to be able to “hack” some of that good stuff. And up to a point, that is

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