In past eras humans were hunter-gatherers, then farmers, then builders of the first cities and cathedrals. During the Renaissance, a citizen was an honest man. Then, during the industrial era, he became a worker in a factory. With the advent of knowledge society, citizens (primarily in the developed world) are becoming information workers and Internetizens.
I am because we are.
Nelson Mandela, Ubuntu.
Humans now have to learn to live alone, in this new environment. Both parents (in a conventional couple) work, children are sent to daycare in the morning, while the elders in our society are placed in institutional hospices. An adult man or woman are no longer recognizes by their teenage children. If they want to talk to them, it requires making an appointment via a smartphone because teenagers speak only to other teenagers :
People feel alone. So alone, that they eagerly seek out social networks to weave a form of social fabric with a group of friends. And even that becomes disappointing – quantity matters more than quality.
Today’s mass media considers people today as suitcases : fill them up daily with scandal, rumors and advertising with a small piece of more-or-less valid information smattered here and there. This is only fuelling an unnecessary crisis. People know that their privacy is being eroded but feel that they can’t do much about it (on a general societal level). They know that the government is probably listening to private communications in the name of counter-terrorism (a replacement for the other fear of 30 years ago, communism) (chapter 3, no 15).
Additionally, they fear this is only the beginning ; they intuit that new IT (sensors, surveillance cameras, drones, cookies, etc.) will be intruding more and more on personal privacy during the coming years :
Anger is growing. It is relatively quiet at the moment (see below). However, because those who govern respond to requests for dialogue with tear gas and police, more potent reactions will come : if there is not significant change soon, we’ll see increasing protest, resistance, nihilism and possibly anarchy!
Already some people are blowing their personal fuses and are committing various acts of violence. And the mass media are asking why?