Who is Spock?
Spock (if you aren’t familiar with him) is a character from the Star Trek series and movies. As a part human-part Vulcan, he represents the idea of logic. Often, to Starship Enterprise Doctor Bones’ annoyance, Spock wouldn’t be one to get into a heated debate or respond with a knee-jerk reaction. He would just keep things simple and get on with what he needs to do (with a regular dose of sarcasm to highlight his fascination with any utterly ridiculous human behaviour)!
Very naturally, as all Vulcans do, Spock would see all situations with a logical and rational mind. Bones might call him a ‘green blooded alien’ in frustration but he would rarely react or get entangled in any drama. So, for just a moment, imagine Spock in today’s digital (pandemic) world…
Today’s Digital World
It’s a time when digital communication has accelerated so quickly, with weekly video calls up 35% in the UK from pre-lockdown, where Zoom went from 659,000 users in January 2020 to 13 million in April 2020 and, as reported by Ofcom in June 2020, UK adults were now spending an average of 4 hours a day online. A move towards video and media for entertainment, the use of platforms like YouTube and Facebook videos has also increased (The Virus Changed the Way We Internet, New York Times). Along with our increased internet usage, an increase in ‘rude, disrespectful, or unreasonable comments’ have also increased on social media, making the online space a sometimes confusing space to navigate – as explored in a study of Twitter by the Reuters Institute and University of Oxford. With this rate of change and adoption of all-things-digital, the challenges of misinformation, shouty comments and so-called experts who are of-course always right (according to them), have arrived . And at a time in the world where literally everything is kicking off…everywhere, it may be a good idea to ask:
‘What would Spock do?’
Apart from walking around in a blue Star Trek uniform with a phaser on stun, most likely, Mr Spock would stand back and simply watch whatever is going on…with ultimate fascination for human behaviour. ‘Fascinating’, he might say. Then, any response or action would be logical and focused on the task at hand. It would be impossible to get into a heated discussion with this guy, ice cubes might be more reactive than he might be!
Being More Logical – more Spock – Online
Let’s bring Spock’s approach to the way we communicate online or consume online content (don’t forget that communication isn’t just talking or sharing, it’s listening, watching and reading too). One of the biggest differences to all situations (good, bad or downright insane) can be the communication that goes on within it. Digital communication can be especially difficult when one little error or mis-judgement online might lead to a string of opinions, assumptions or unexpected responses and no way to explain exactly what you meant and what you didn’t mean. The opinions of the writer behind something may not always be as easy to see, but unless it’s a reliable, factual and scientific source, it’s likely to contain an opinion. As Spock might say, ‘insufficient facts always invite danger’. So, staying logical and responding outside of the digital story that’s being presented to you, looking at everything you see with some logic, is sometimes the best way to go. Instead of believing everything you see or hear, maybe staying curious and choosing how you respond is a better way to create a more pleasant space for all online. After all, no matter the event, we always get to choose how we respond…
What would Spock do in 2020?
He would raise an eyebrow, say ‘fascinating‘ and then be logical. Less drama, more logic. It may be that with this logical approach, those who see reason will respond better in return…or it may be that they don’t. But, we might always feel good having chosen to respond like Spock…with logic.
Good communication can bring out good things… no matter what might be going on in the world!
In 2020 and beyond, whether we’re sharing content or receiving it, maybe we could all be a bit more Spock in our communications online!
Live long and prosper 🖖