Unshared Reality

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Log in to Netflix and you get a customized view. No one else sees what you see. The same is true for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Reality is personalized.

Reality is, and always has been, unshared – to some extent. People see colors differently. They experience moments differently. And this subjectivity goes all the way down – because we take ourselves with us wherever we go. 

We all bring different parts of ourselves to the things we see – but until now, we at least saw the same things. Now we bring different parts of ourselves to different realities. We no longer have a collective experience. Instead each of us is awash in their “daily me”.

To continue with the Netflix example, it’s not just that we are recommended different movies and shows. Even the covers of the movies or tv shows change daily. Companies AB test the images against our profiles to see what gets us to click. And, by the way, just clicking for more information starts the video. All you get is an image to pick from and that is how the algorithm shapes your future.

This is happening everywhere, everyday.

It’s not all bad. We do not lack for entertainment. I just wish there was a page on each of these platforms that was a “universal view”. Some shared experience. So we could all reference a shared reality – however briefly. 

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