Alex Putzer, Universität Hamburg, Germany

Recent years have seen an increase of extremism in many areas. Starting from anonymous comments on Social Media to electoral results, from the division between the rich and the poor, to the rise of populism, modesty on either side doesn’t seem to be a worthwhile attribute anymore. These partitions are shown in politics. Following the horseshoe theory, switching political sides from the extreme far left to the extreme far right gets more common. These protests pose a threat to society. Democracy is about having different opinions and finding a common consensus instead of consolidating predetermined beliefs of increasing radicalization.

But why?

In an ever-complicated world, the more topics you get, the more they drift into oblivion. People become apathetic because of the ever-increasing amount of online information. All the so-called ‘common knowledge’ isn’t common whatsoever. The current phenomenon deals with the sheer impossibility of wrapping one’s head around everything ‘relevant’. By constantly facing 10 things everyone should have heard of (number 7 made me cry), chances of accidentally missing to click on baits of real importance increase. Our capacity is full. Ignorance is bliss.

Researching one specific topic until reaching a highly skilled level, contrasts the ever-increasing and worrisome procrastination state of mind caused by a practical infinity of shiny objects. The toll to be a true expert seems to lose its’ appeal when years of study are counterweight with a simple ‘fake’.

Since June 15th, the European Union officially killed most of the roaming charges within its’ borders. The abolition of feared and hidden costs overlaps with less freedom. Being able to access the Internet everywhere equals to a never-ending online information flow, both ways. The undefined transparency of no incoming thoughts at all resulting in a time of reflection diminishes ever more, as the inglorious white spots on maps fade away due to an unstoppable torrent of rainbow data.

By fulfilling the greed of exploring all colours, several shades of grey turn into either black or white. Ignorance is bliss. A dead phone battery is even more than that.