Santa Claus and hiking under digital chimneys

Logbook Hiking.org 24. December 2018 – Digital change, places, Santa Claus and global platforms of reality

Thoughts on digital platforms v’s communities

Text and drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt, Hiking.org

Walking on snowy streets, the villages at Christmas time look very different from what they used to. People now buy their gifts on their screens from places like Amazon, Wish, H&M and other global brands and celebrate midwinter online, liking selfies of each other on Facebook

Through the windows I can see people, all by themselves, sitting watching screens of all kinds – while the local shops are closed for good, looking like empty holes in the streets.

Reality has moved online helped by global and gigantic digital platforms distributing all the stuff, entertainment and information we will ever need to those who can pay for it – All controlled and monitored by artificial intelligence and operated by robots and even drones, while they keep list of each and one of us, long lists, just like Santa Claus, of all the good and bad things we’ve ever done…

Not only do we buy our presents over the web, we also wish people happy holidays and as we like their portraits, inserted on animated winter landscapes on our phones, we can even see their positions on the “find my friends” app.

See our friends waving on a map from far away. From London, Paris or New York, where they celebrate in the Chain-rented out “homes” of someone else, booked online on Air B&B

These digital cloud-based systems are in many ways free to use, as the cost of using them are covered in less visible ways, based on the Santa Claus like lists about each one of us that these systems carefully collect, while we circle them like moth around streetlights in the dark.

Back to the local scale and to relating

Looking up I wonder, if Santa Claus would be able to throw all the presents into just one chimney and then let some huge digital platform handle the distribution of all the gifts to locals, would Santa be tempted just to say o.k. and hand over the lists?

Drawing of Santa Claus on a huge chimney with a businessman offer to distribute presents for free. Frits Ahlefeldt. Illustration
Santa Claus and the global digital platforms

Actually Santa Claus wouldn’t even have to hand over the lists, these systems most likely all ready have all the information written on Santa’s list in their own systems. And they also keep and share updated databases of addresses, amount of likes, good deeds, how and where we spend our days, our income and what relationships in the real world each one of us still have, if any.

Maybe it is time to leave the lists behind and instead just do our best every day in the real world, because, as more and more of us have come to realize – Good things is seldom found in a sock hanging over a burned out fire or appear magically, wrapped polystyrene and delivered by a drone…

Good things come from spending time together in the real world

Good things comes from good relationships and from spending time together, from walking the local paths and streets, from caring, smiling, helping and saying happy holiday to each other and relating in good ways, to our planet ,to our places and paths and to those around us – Maybe that is the best gift we can give to each other.

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