One early summer many years ago, I went to the National Palace Museum in Taipei between business trips. While waiting for the bus to return to the city on the roadside, a young man of my age came over to teach me with a Bible and flyers.
When he heard that I came from Guangzhou, he asked me worriedly: If you believe this over there, will you be arrested?
I was extremely puzzled, why could his misunderstanding be so outrageous?
Later, we often saw bizarre Taiwanese TV screens on Weibo and other platforms like "Mainlanders can't eat tea eggs" and "Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou all power outages turned into ghost towns."
As a result, their respective impressions of each other have become "ignorant feudalism" and "frog at the bottom of the well."
Two days ago, when Clubhouse burst into flames, I haven't tried it for some reason. What really interests me later is that someone has established a chat room for youth exchanges across the strait. Thousands of people communicate peacefully and rationally in this chat room to eliminate misunderstandings and change the stereotypes of those unbreakable groups.
Of course, various Internet concepts can be applied here, such as information cocoon rooms and six-degree division. But what I want to say is that when facing concrete and vivid individuals, we can let go of the prejudice that we are trapped by group cognition. You can try to establish some consensus first, such as the music of Jay Chou and Hood, such as Hou Xiaoxian. The movies with Yang Dechang are very good; or the beef noodles in Taipei and the beef hot pot in Chaoshan have the same respect for cattle.
Our perspective is also easy to lead to the grand narrative represented by market value and monthly life: which company has a market value of more than 100 billion US dollars, and which app has a monthly life of 500 million as a national application.
Under such a proud figure, we can be more concerned about some real individuals: takeaway riders who are guided by the system to go retrograde, employees of 996 big factories, husband and wife stalls destroyed by community group purchases, there is no smart machine. How do the invisible people who scan the code and order food use their smartphones…
At this time, we can see the dividing line between barbarism and civilization. Although the Internet represents high efficiency and high technology, technology can also be divided into barbarism and civilization. Those enterprises and services that see the value of the individual respect the meaning of the individual, actively adapt to the barrier-free model, and adapt to the aging, represent the light of civilization of the Internet.
And some companies and services, on the other hand, use their capital and scale advantages to start a zero-sum game with the disadvantaged.
On platforms such as station B and Weibo, "capitalist" has become a high-frequency vocabulary. Of course, there is a proportion of abuse, but the wave of public opinion that is higher than the wave also tells everyone the importance of the individual.
If you want to ask, "Where should the advantages of capital and scale be used?" From the perspective of a technology media, several stories about China Tower during the epidemic are undoubtedly the template answers.
In the mountainous areas of Tibet, Sichuan, Hubei, Guizhou and other places, many students and teachers cannot smoothly take classes online at home due to poor signal and poor internet. From the perspective of revenue, building signal base stations in these less densely populated places will definitely lose money, but China Tower’s answer is to build base stations to protect the network regardless of cost and wind and snow, and prevent students from network problems. Cannot take online classes and "temporarily drop out of school."
Compared with the grand narrative composed of numbers and scale, these individual-focused stories are more touching and true. At the same time, those attacks against certain groups, group irrational behaviors, and those swiping and watering like an army of ants are even more clumsy in front of these stories.
At first, the Internet was a tool for people to open their eyes to the world, but then we discovered that many people may be narrower because of the Internet. In the huge Internet world, it is difficult to provide everyone with a public sphere of truly equal communication like the ancient Greek city-states.
However, seeing the friendly interaction between the youths on both sides of the strait in the Clubhouse, more and more mobile operating systems have joined the barrier-free mode, and when the tower and communication operators launched the "online class signal defense war", everything was not so bad.
In 2021, I hope that everyone can face and pay attention to concrete individuals without being trapped by surging emotions, eliminate misunderstandings that shouldn't exist, and gain a more valuable consensus.
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