danah boyd was quoted on Wired yesterday…
“[W]e have a cultural problem, one that is shaped by disconnects in values, relationships, and social fabric. Our media, our tools, and our politics are being leveraged to help breed polarization by countless actors who can leverage these systems for personal, economic, and ideological gain.”
She went on to state “How do you reknit society? Society is produced by the social connections that are knit together. The stronger those networks, the stronger the society. We have to make a concerted effort to create social ties, social relationships, social networks in the classic sense that allow for strategic bridges across the polis so that people can see themselves as one.”
“Part of what is really collapsing here is that the networks have become too fragmented and too polarized. Technology doesn’t help; it simply magnifies the poles. This is dangerous and cyclical. Polarization leads to distrust and tribalism which leads to more polarization. So for me, the path forward, which requires business and the public sector and civil society working together, is about reconstructing the networks of America.”
In our own small way, this is Front Porch Forum‘s work… helping neighbors connect and build community… reconstructing networks of neighbors across political, class, racial and other boundaries.