Adaptation and personal experience

Human beings adapt to new power and presence configurations, but also in these new configurations ‘facts’ matter. People need truth to be able to take responsibility for their own choices and behaviour. There is an indis- criminate recall of vast amounts of data. It is nearly impossible to sift through all information. Complex webs of lies grow and are sustained. Personal experience, including all one has read or seen, becomes the vehicle with which people judge the value of information. Jour- nalists finding and analysing facts are fundamental for democracies to function; yet, the task at hand is more and more complex. Nevertheless, people have to develop strategies to deal with the overload of information because truth is the best agency of consciousness, giving people the power to participate in processes of change (interview MacFaydyen 2009).

Ultimately, online witnessing works only if it supports offline-established cultures, loyalties and relationships. This insight contributes to understanding why social net- works, which develop through networks of friends and friends of friends, have such an unanticipated success. Both in on- and offline contexts and in the merging of the two, truth finding by establishing facts and analysing these in connection to each other is more and more complicated but remains to be distinct. For individuals, deciding what to accept or not, personal experience is key in these processes.