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Dispatch 3 - The New Normal

In this dispatch, I look at the story that we are in a period of rapid cultural and technological change. Each new day seems to bring more chaos, confusion and possibility. This can be difficult to navigate and can cause us to shut down or pull back from engaging with the world. If you are feeling this way, it’s all that more important to find trusted sources of information and engage with them in a way that is healthy for you. But in the current news environment what does that mean?


Facebook and Google seem to have become the arbiters of what is popular as they feed news back to us based on our personal preferences. One result is that fringe perspectives that have always been on the edge of the conversation are now being talked about as if they are mainstream thinking. And how can we tell the difference anymore between real objective reporting, fake news propaganda and advertising masquerading as news content. Find it mindboggling? Welcome to what many are calling the new normal!



I love Armand’s “how to” video clips. When I went looking for someone to explain Facebook in simple terms, his was the best. He explains how the news feed works and how personal profiles are built. Please support his YouTube channel. We need him in the conversation.


We all watched the Arab Spring revolt unfold in Egypt. One of the stories that emerged was of a young Egyptian that had called the masses into the streets using a Facebook post. Wael Ghonim became a noted voice for the impact of social media when he first claimed “social media is all you need” and then three years later saying” I was wrong”. What Wael points to in this Ted Talk is that he learned that social media was good for calling people into the streets, but not for trying to implement change after the revolution. Check out what he’s learned and what he is working on now.

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