In the Social media, the replies to individual principles or claims that have no basis in truth are significant. The air of companies or brands fearing going up in flames and everyone thinking they are knowledgeable is stifling. I gave an example in part 1 regarding the discomfort felt around recent conditions. Finding the form of this discomfort is not easy. But there may be a way to handle this discomfort. We’ll consider this method in part 2.
Try closing social media for connections
The first point is “closing.” Social media is designed to connect us, but closing it would be good. But I don’t mean simply uninstalling the application from your phone. Choose, to a certain extent, to limit the community and disconnect.
The D2C brand, which sells clothing, etc. on Social media, is at the center of this consideration. Brands are directly connected with clients and can communicate with each other so different routes may be blocked. It’s not necessary to try and be everybody’s friend. Marl Kosaka, the founder of the fashion brand “foufou” told me that “The essence of fashion brands is a relationship of exchanging secrets. Since it is best to have a feeling of distance between the brand and customer, we should close SNS to avoid the intentional spread of awareness.”
Recently, subscription sites, mail-magazines, buyer-only sites and other “closed” communities are growing more powerful. By limiting members, we can visualize an identity and form an environment in which we can talk in trust. For brands, this process naturally allows for a fine community. By controlling the places where faces are seen and intentionally avoiding synchronization and empathy, we build our own scaffolding.
The hotel producer, Shoko Ryuzaki, when asked “how do you get a feeling for the world?” in an interview, she replied “by focusing on what is in front of you, instead of looking at other people, you will connect with other people going in the same direction. To strengthen connections in society, aggressive self-reflection is necessary.” This lighthearted response convinced me that I should no longer “let it be” in this age of “anti-intellectualism.”
The role of dividing connections in media
Another possibility is “connection.” The idea is to connect the divisions between people who cannot see each other. In his book, “A sense of direction in fog,” the philosopher Kiyokazu Washida says “Families, local society, companies and worker unions. Between the small individual and giant companies, the ties of intermediate groups that function as a so-called hinge, or a cushion, is hollow like a dried-out sponge, here in Japan” which makes me anxious about modern divisions.
He also says “people control their lives in detail and in trying to work together we are wary of “excessive integration” due to supportive authority. However, modern influence is rotten due to the opposite; it is a “deepening division” (Junichi Saito) that does not bring people together.” In the afterward of his book, he added the chapter “the possibility of dialogue.” Could this lost “middle” be connected by “dialogue.”
Recently, Takashi Kawazoe, an EC evangelist familiar with EC fashion, was asked “after the proposal and empathy era, how should apparel brands, that have transferred to SNS where anti-intellectualism continues, fight in the future?” One response was “dialogue brands.” These would be “entities where the brand and consumers can hold dialogue to ideally build a relationship in which they grow and understand each other.” As mentioned above, I feel there is just “necessary dialogue” in the D2C business.
Conventional “media” makes this “dialogue.” The term “media” comes from “medium (intermediary).” This “media” does not just include old newspapers or T.V.’s. There is no limit to the possibility of dialogue as an intermediate position for connecting one thing with another. Spaces and people are also “media” via the brands and media mentioned above.
Knowing that words are not enough to understand each other.
The Japanese have a unique way of communication called “Kyowa.” The concept, proposed by Nobuko Mizutani, a Japanese language academic, is where the interlocuters read between the lines to continue an incomplete conversation, as in A: “hey, on T.V. yesterday…” B: “Yeah, it was interesting, wasn’t it?” In Japanese it is possible to communicate without an intermediary (media). In this case, introducing some form of media should make “understanding” between people less difficult.
It may be easy to catch the “media” thing as an example of language. For example, if you visit a foreign country without knowing the language, then of course you won’t understand conversation, signs, menus or anything. However, if you are there for a week, you should at least be able to recognize signs for toilets. Then in this case, because you are in their region and you operate under the assumption that you don’t understand, then you shouldn’t get angry when you don’t understand or can’t convey your needs. Rather, there is joy in the instant you understand. This is “media” itself, which connects an unknown language with a known language.
A translator friend of mine said “a given language is received differently depending on the person, so it is wrong to think that a given language has the same values.” According to this person who builds connections through the medium of translation, we “are overly surprised that languages are different and overconfident that languages are the same.”
A prologue like epilogue
I wrote about a few concepts to possibly avoid the discomfort felt towards modern “anti-intellectual” society centered around SNS. Although the form of this discomfort has not been formed in language and the solution itself may be useless, through the process of personally thinking about this I certainly had many dialogues. The subjects were people, books or news, yet I think the process itself was to “connect divisions” within myself.
There may be people who think this disorganized text is “wrong” or “stupid” or “trying to be intellectual.” But I will be happy if these considerations motivate someone to think about “dialogues.” This discomfort is becoming significant, especially with the rush to get everything online from the post-corona shock. So now, it should be meaningful to review the process of thinking about these things. Before we lose something.