Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago · 5 min. reading time · ~10 ·

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Do we have limitless borders in today’s world?

Do we have limitless borders in today’s world?

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Last week was particularly interesting and one could even go as far as to say disturbing, so much so I decided to write about these observations, which can only be described as ‘no limits’ and ‘no boundaries’ for others.

It is amazing what an influence we have on others, especially children. Yet, I sometimes ponder on the fact that we are reluctant today to say anything is ‘wrong’; that even using the word ‘wrong’ can be branded as being ‘negative’ or too aggressive.

We hear the expressions “no limits” and “no boundaries” presented as a philosophy of life that is positive.

Interesting research showed that nearly a third of people questioned for a report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said they had personally been a victim of yobbish behaviour, illicit behaviour or had witnessed an incident in the 12 months.

More than eight out of 10 people say anti-social behaviour has risen in England and Wales over the past 12 months, the Government’s main crime survey has revealed.

It is not uncommon to hear people experience these behaviours – what 20th Century psychiatrist Erik H. Erikson called “the problem of identity”.

Why are so many today troubled with “the problem of identity”?

There may be many reasons, but one is clearly the philosophy of ‘no limits, no boundaries’.

Could you imagine a game of football with no boundaries, no rules, no posts, no clock or no scoreboard?

How do we know ourselves? By our boundaries, our limits, by having some sort of order in our life. There are those who live by no boundaries, but this way of life often ends with a jail sentence.

It is a very good thing to stretch our limits, to raise the bar, but even those dudes on You Tube doing “parkour” don’t jump off cliffs! Well, not many of them. They realise that even parkour has its limits.

Boundaries become most significant when considering children. In a world where children can and are caught up in an emotional, physical and spiritual shipwreck if their boundaries are crumbling, it is important that firm boundaries are set to ensure that the child grows with confidence and knowledge to tackle life’s challenges.

If you’ve ever had a written contract or tenure dishonored on you, you become a devoted fan of boundaries very quickly. Liars, despots, dictators, cult-leaders, and corruption all show that a world with uncertain boundaries and laws is anything but beautiful.


By contrast, in daily life we hope that people are reasonably faithful to who they really are. With the rapid expansion of social life in cyberspace, judging the authenticity of identity has become complicated.

In 1969, before cell phones, laptops, and smart watches, Americans were willing to believe that men walked on the moon. Now, progress toward eradicating deadly infectious diseases is threatened by a growing number of parents who have misgivings about childhood vaccines and delay or refuse vaccinations for their children (American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 2014). In a time of sophisticated video editing, anonymous posting, and computer-generated imagery, we can’t be certain if an online video is a hoax, a secure website is safe, or an email is from whom it purports to be.

We understand who we are partly in terms of our role in relationships and in terms of social comparison. As we spend more and more time in cyber-society, we should be wary of becoming dependent upon it for our sense of identity. For some people, engagement in social media has extended their sense of self to the identity they have in cyberspace. Their smart device can become an extension of their self. If a person has become so attached to their smart device that they are stressed when separated even briefly, he or she might need to re-evaluate the social priorities in their life. We are so much more than the number of likes we score on social media. Being with the ones we love brings satisfaction and fulfilment to our lives. Virtual reality should enrich and extend our relationships, not replace them.

Relationships that evolve around more eclectic interests are more complex. Socially richer, they can meet emotional needs and foster a sense of bonding and belonging. However, the same warp speed that facilitates the birth and growth of these friendships can also torpedo them when online communication reveals an unexpected negative trait, belief, or opinion. Virtual is not identical to face-to-face communication. Unlike face-to-face, online conversation lacks the contextual cues and body language, intonation, and personal feedback that can correct misunderstandings or modulate the severity of reactions or expressions. Online rants can be or appear to be less tolerant, unforgiving personal attacks or hypercritical judgment. The virtual essence of the online world creates psychological distance that diminishes the regular limits on extreme behaviour, such as public accountability, consequences, or even social-emotional feedback of facial expression and body language cues. Such distancing can result in more extreme offensive language, behaviour’s, or threats.

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Unlike real life, online relationships can vaporize suddenly with an unfriending or simply an end to responding. In daily life, we can use our next encounter to apologize, explain or correct. The online world might offer no such opportunity. Moving from one such experience to another can ultimately invalidate them all, as they become devoid of substance or meaning. This might explain in part why people feel worse after spending time on social media. Research suggests that some people feel social media time was wasted or meaningless.

If an online experience has become hostile, it isn’t always easy to disconnect. Research has shown that many people become anxious or stressed when not in constant contact with their online social life. hey worry that they might be missing something important or will be left out as the online culture goes on without them. Even terminating a particular relationship online can produce anxiety, as a user cannot know what communications are taking place that they are now blind to. As the two worlds intersect, stress can result from the fear that escalating online hostility will spill over into real life.

While there are several reasons for using social networking, it appears that its main function is for increased contact with friends and family along with increased engagement in social activities. However, research has shown that young adults with a strong Facebook presence were more likely to exhibit narcissistic antisocial behavior; while excessive use of social media was found to be strongly linked to underachievement at school.

So, if you take roughly 1.2 billion Facebook users and 450 million people suffering from mental disorders, what do you get? A global pandemic that’s showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

A matter of contention prevalent within the media, several studies have shown that social networking – Facebook in particular – can have detrimental effects on our well-being. Researchers from the University of Michigan assessed Facebook usage over a fortnight and found that the more people that used it, the more negativity they experienced concerning their day-to-day activities; as well as over time, incurring higher levels of dissatisfaction with their life overall.

We understand who we are partly in terms of our role in relationships and in terms of social comparison. As we spend more and more time in cyber-society, we should be wary of becoming dependent upon it for our sense of identity. For some people, engagement in social media has extended their sense of self to the identity they have in cyberspace. Their smart device can become an extension of their self. If a person has become so attached to their smart device that they are stressed when separated even briefly, he or she might need to re-evaluate the social priorities in their life. We are so much more than the number of likes we score on social media. Being with the ones we love brings satisfaction and fulfilment to our lives. Virtual reality should enrich and extend our relationships, not replace them.

I great quote by B. R. Ambedkar, he once said:

“Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.”



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Randall Burns

4 years ago #13

#10
HaHa! Thanks for the clarification Geoff Hudson-Searle it's very easy with written dialogue to take things the wrong way so I always try not to assume anything. ;-)

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #12

#6
Thanks Lisa Vanderburg for your wonderful thoughts and comments. Your words triggered some thoughts.... can all people aspire to be strong—to accomplish self-realisation? I am not convinced. But growing people have unrealised power if their self-concept, their self-expectation, their self-direction, and their constantly broadening perceptions allow them to find it. The difference between a strong person and a weak person may not be a difference in ability, for many have keen intelligence; or in drive, for many ambitious people get nowhere; or in opportunity, for somehow, strong people make opportunity. Maybe, the difference lies in self-concept. How much do I value my life? What do I want to do with it? What must I do to be myself? Strong people have emerged with clear-cut answers to such questions; weak ones equivocate and temporise and never dare.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #11

#5
So great to have your comments Harvey Lloyd you always have that special way of provoking thoughts straight to the core of the subject matter. In an open and free society we would expect strong cultures to thrive and weak misguided cultures to shrivel or die. But for all cultures, the ability to survive, even to thrive, is dependent on creating strong families to socialise youth, to transmit values, and to create youth who are physically, emotionally, and socially strong. The problem is how many examples of a prosperous, thriving, free society can you identify in today's world?

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #10

#4
Very interesting comments Pascal Derrien I think one of the best exercises that I have done to help me live more fully was just allowing myself to acknowledge each precious moment. Then when you experience this same experience again, you consciously put yourself back into your new framework.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #9

#3
Thank you Randall Burns for your wonderful comments, I have never not believed in moon landings but attempted to infer that in the 60's there was skepticism in the moon landings.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #8

#2
Thank you so much for your kindness Debasish Majumder I am really happy you enjoyed my buzz :-)

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #7

#1
Thank you Savvy Raj so lovely to hear from you and receive your responses, and so many truths! Data-driven technologies are increasingly being integrated into many different parts of society, staggering advances in technology, communications and sciences across the world is one of the defining aspects of the last few decades. From social media websites to free video calling services from anywhere in the world just being a phone’s click away it would appear that the millennial generation has it all. But if we move past all the smartphones and gadgets and websites and take a hard look at the lives of Gen Y, we will notice that dating has become harder than ever. The facts, do we actually have time for our most precious relationships, do we give the time to build lasting, loving relationships around trust and values or do we constantly feel we can always do better with the latest api or technology app? I agree across your comments on balance, what we should be doing is focusing more on how we spend our time and with others.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #6

#5
How true Harvey Lloyd about the released genie! 'Religion has been tossed out, Darwinism has now led us to Face Book...'; another great truth. Is this why we are driven to Mindfulness & Meditation and - worse; are these methods then merely self-serving? These ideals are touted as altruistic; heal thyself to heal others. If that's the case, is it our need to protect ourselves? Great thoughts dude!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #5

Oh, well done Geoff Hudson-Searle for this stark and naked truth; we have found this shiny new toy and it is teetering on being our undoing. We are fully capable of running over any barrier at any time; much like a filled glass finally breaking the water tension by that one more drip. For me, I sometimes think we've gone too far: if we could see ourselves and others as we really live and are, would we want to? Are we now better off not seeing all those 'friends' on social media...do we not feel safer that way? Lunatics may well run the asylum, just as long as they don't come out! Excellent buzz!

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #4

..."He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.” The context of the word "development" is the answer to all the observations you pointed to and i believe this why B. R. Ambedkar did not exclude society completely. But can we really discuss development with out the larger humanity question of, what is a prosperous, thriving, free society? I struggle with observation or as i word it discernment that falls short of solution. Unfortunately when we discuss solution we have enter the no mans land of absolutes. Within absolutes we have boundaries. Let the apathy begin. I do not refer to law or regulation or the correctional facilitation in breaking these, but rather the human moral code of absolutes. Even the Vikings had a moral code of absolutes. We cant face society and develop ourselves at the same time, the reflections are too variable. So we must look at our own moral code, belief system or absolutes that we go to in decision making and behavior. Religion has been tossed out, Darwinism has now led us to Face Book and the no boundaries, except those established through the ever stretching materialism. The rise of mindfulness and empathy are coping mechanisms without considering the core morality of the individual. I am truly not advocating anyone solution, but am wanting to re-frame the debate away from observation to solution, and not coping but self awareness first then social. Great discussion and deserves a solution. It will be difficult to put the genie back in the bottle.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #3

Context is a framework, everything we do take place in a provided and limitative terms and conditions path , rules of engagement apply on any type of medium there are maybe just differently labelled, limitless is a definition in itself :-)

Randall Burns

4 years ago #2

Interesting buzz Geoff Hudson-Searle I do have to ask for some clarification with your comment of, "In 1969, before cell phones, laptops, and smart watches, Americans were willing to believe that men walked on the moon." Are you saying that you don't believe in the moon landings?

Debasish Majumder

4 years ago #1

Great buzz Geoff Hudson-Searle! enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the buzz.

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