It’s not just data, information and knowledge which flows through social networks, but narratives. People motivated by power can therefore control a network through narratives which support their views of reality and sow false stories which they wish to impose on others through command-and-control. This is the shadow side of social networks, which I call knotworks – networks with ego.
Platitudes such as the need to move from competition to collaboration have to be examined closely, and the intention of the speaker detected, not just the words uttered, since those who speak about collaboration may still have a competition mindset, and therefore still be using and abusing narratives in order to exclude others who for some reason they may feel threatened by.
Facebook did not suddenly turn us into yogis, Buddhas, angels and saints. There is a big difference between social networks, communities and cultures. Communities may have the appearance and structure of social networks, but the outcome when they are inauthentic is the continuation of fragmentation in society.
Social networks by themselves do not lead us to wholeness. You need to analyse a human network in terms of its values. It is not just about having shared values, but universal human values: peace, truth, love, right-action and non-violence. When these values are present, and absolutely lived by each and every member, then communities develop culture and you raise culture to its highest potential. The social network becomes psychologically, socially, ecologically and biologically healthy, authentic and self-sustaining.