The Internet and the Hive-Mind
The hive mind, or collective conscious, is basically a term to describe collective thinking. In other words, everyone within the hive mind thinks the same, has the same opinions, and so on. The internet has slowly become a way for hive minds to develop and grow much faster and larger than they would without it. I'm not saying the internet is evil or is itself, bad. No, the internet is an amazing thing that in today's world is pretty much necessary to function in society and the business world. You can access books, games, research, movies, music, use it to keep in contact with people from all over, anything you want. But, like all things, it has it's down sides.
The internet has brought about social networking, which is using technology to connect with people and share information. This too, is not a completely bad thing. I have met people with it and I use it to stay in contact with friends that have moved away. However, there are people that take social networking too far and use it to find like-minded people, this can be very bad. Obviously, you are going to want to talk and meet other people who feel the same as you do about things, people who have the same goals and interests. The internet gives you this opportunity, but it does it in a way that groups with negative opinions can grow quickly and spread rapidly.
I'm not saying I know everything and that my opinion is right all the time, but I do know when an opinion is just wrong. In particular I wanted to talk about youth and negative encouragement from other youth (though there are plenty of other hive minds out there), places like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are making it easier for kids to connect and influence each other. While browsing Tumblr the other day, I found page after page of teens who are depressed or some kind of eating disorder, and the people who followed the LIKED their posts about hurting themselves or managing to not eat for the day. They sometimes even encouraged them to keep it up or say they couldn't wait to be that weight too! I have problems. We all have problems. But when I talk about my problems, I want help, I want advice, not someone telling me to drink myself into oblivion or that dying is a logical solution. Not saying that there aren't people out there who offer advice, but that's not the point. The point is these negatives exist and they form the hive mind.
When someone is depressed, they want someone who understands. I can relate to that because I am depressed. When I explain to someone I'm just not happy today and they stare at me like I'm crazy, its hard. But when I talk to someone who says “I know what you mean” its nice because I don't feel like I'm alone. Still, that person who understands should say “hey, if you stop eating you'll feel better” because then the disease spreads. Soon I meet someone new and they say they don't like how they look so I say “you know what worked for me...” and so it goes on. The group grows and grows because no one is there to say something, to tell them there's another way. They become part of a hive mind, like an insect, and they follow what someone else says just because “they are like them and they understand”. It has become a disease and it seems there is no way to stop it. We are bees and the internet is our queen, we do what it tells us and we think the way it tells us. And somehow, we need to find a way to prevent these hives from growing.