Do you know what is the butterfly effect? It is that principle, attributed to the Chaos Theory, which states that “small changes in initial conditions can produce large variations in the long-term behavior of a physical system”.
To put it simply: “It is said that the slightest flutter of a butterfly’s wing is able to cause a hurricane on the other side of the world.” (Cit. taken from the film that I liked a lot, but let’s do the movie reviews some other time).
Well, it’s not a secret that some invisible and inscrutable connection of streams, energies and forces exist that pull and push, influencing the dynamics of the planet (which is a system), and that a minimum of axis shift occurred far far away, in the middle of nowhere, could trigger a chain of events that will lead to our glorious end in no time at all.
Well, today it is more true than ever. It always occurs within a system, but the fault is no longer of the damn butterfly, but of the network, or rather, our network utilization (I deliberately use the term “network” and not social networks because I do not believe that the phenomenon can be hold back in single environments).
The explosion of these new virtual spaces where it’s possible to pour out myriad thoughts, frustrations, dreams, creations and God knows what else, has no doubt infected us, at various levels of pervasiveness and pathology. In many cases, it was god blessing for unknown emeritus that have become “someone.” Well, good for them, well-done.
But still, I remained shocked by the story of someone I know, that I can sum up here, leaving out an aura of mystery and pumping generic phrases like narrative steroids, just to avoid a possibility to get a threatening phone call, in case she might recognize herself.
Let’s say, years ago, you had a crush on a guy who gently took you for a ride. Let’s say you started writing heartwrenching posts of love and hatred on your personal blog, on those of your friends, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and on the walls of auto grill bathrooms, venting out your creativity, as well as your pain.
Let’s say more or less six years later, a recruiter, let’s call him Mario Rossi, is looking for a professional like you to include in his business. Let’s say he had a look at your Linkedin profile and found you very interesting, in fact so interesting, that he decided to extend his research on you.
But when this happened, guess what (and how much) material has found the selector Mario Rossi?
Exactly. Significant traces of post-he-dumped-me delirious crying, that created surely tender and human image of a suffering girl, but perhaps not exactly in line with a job in a team that would act constantly under stress.
Ergo: bye work.
How do we know it all? A colleague, let’s call her Maria Rosa, participated in the research project as a recruiter and was provided with operative instructions and preferences, apart from that she was also given the photocopies of some songs written by rejected lover, accompanied by advice: “maybe we should avoid calling those who leave such stuff in eternity…”.
Now. Beyond the “technical” judgments, that a selector should not evaluate the person, but his or her skills, suitability for the organizational position, the affinity with the company values and bla bla, the issue that arises is another.
And I do not think it even regards the consideration that things happen and you can call them “fate”, “bad luck”, “cynical and cheat” or “we are children of our past.”
I would call it a distorted view of freedom. And it’s always harder to survive with dignity immersed in the paradox that “the web has made us free to express ourselves, but then it is not true at all”, because you just leave the brake a tiny bit, even if within personal spaces where essentially you don’t harass anyone, you just stay there, without bothering, without shouting too much, not imposing your presence and this can still persecute your life in unimaginable ways.
It’s a bit like having shoplifted when you were just a kid, or marrying the wrong person, or been involved in an accident. Labels. Judgments. Actions with unpredictable consequences that jeopardize our reputation, the image that the world has of us, our life paths.
In this case, good for her, because she avoided losing time with an assignment that would prove soon to be wrong for her temperament, that’s for sure.
But, then, we have the courage to say that the “personal branding” is better than freedom of expression, that the genuineness will always be penalized in favor of cunning and strategy, that even the companies declaring to search for people who are “true” , “disruptive”, “original”, those who “are as you see them “, become afraid of them, label them and send them away systematically.
It’s just enough to accumulate a bit ‘of Twitter followers to get brainwashed and start communicating in a very different and reasoned way, emphasizing only something that makes you look successful, beautiful, cool, resolved and with self-control in place, ready to be put to good use in a nice working group, possibly made up of so many other “real” beautiful people, ready to explode at presentia and not on a screen.