When was the last time you read Alice in Wonderland? That literary work flew through my life in the form of picture books, animated and feature films, but as a book it only recently passed through my hands and my reading mind. It’s never too late, right? One of the most famous works of children’s literature, written as far back as 1865 as Lewis Carroll’s allusion to society, education, the judiciary and other aspects of his world in the second half of the 19th century. Looking from the perspective of the 21st century, more precisely in 2023, this story about the adventures of a curious girls in a magical world raised my eyebrows more than once, not because of something scandalous, but because I realized, while reading, that Carol’s wonderland is similar to this digital wonderland of ours, called the land of algorithms or social networks. And Alisa, uh, how many times have I felt like Alisa.
Alisa squats in all of us, a curious little girl who is interested in everything and observes the world with big open eyes. I decided to bring my inner Alice to the surface by going into entrepreneurship. Now I look at the world, for the first time in a long time, with completely open eyes, curious but with a touch of shyness and fear.
The book begins when Alice sees a strange White Rabbit and decides to follow him. In the book, he constantly rushes, repeats that he is in a hurry, but this rabbit of mine is neither white nor gray. He is a whole series of messages that modern marketing sends out into the world to us baby entrepreneurs with big ears like rabbits and sharp hearing – you have to be present, nothing without social networks, FOMO at its strongest, let’s go as soon as possible – hurry up! And we do it, ready or not and lo and behold we fall down that rabbit hole to the magical land of algorithms. But as Alice did not find her way right away, this Alice also did not find her way following the White Rabbit. I was also greeted by numerous doors leading to numerous worlds, most of them locked, fashion, lifestyle, travel, music, food, etc. All interesting, creative, seductive. I also wanted to enter the magical garden like Alisa, but you have to find the key and you have to go through that door. These two Alices followed the instructions they found along the way. Eat me, drink me. Alice increases, Alice decreases. Post more – I increase, i.e. I become more visible. Post less – I’m shrinking, i.e. becoming less visible. My poor Alisa and I, neither of us know what we are doing.
In the end, Alice managed to get through the gate into the garden, and for me, someone clicked on the magic tile called Follow and here I am deeper in the land of algorithms. Our countries are similar, full of magical and beautiful moments, interesting, but also crazy characters. Everything seems like one big crazy and beautiful adventure that leads Alice and me to the capo de tutti capi of our countries to the Queen or in my case the algorithm.
Everyone talks about the Queen/Algorithm, they give them the most weight, and their main role is to issue rules and orders, often incomprehensible to their subjects. Fickle to the point of pain, sometimes they love you, sometimes they throw something at you, sometimes they want to cut off your head. In my case, chopping off your head means when you are told that you broke some rule, which rule, you don’t know exactly, how, you have no idea. It is important that you are threatened with taking off your head, i.e. blocking you in 100 ways. But the Algorithm, like the queen, does not allow the right to vote, it changes its opinion with a muscle. Just as the Queen likes to change hats as a hobby and expects everyone to admire it, so my Algorithm changes its rules and you have no idea what new rule or hat awaits you next. Alisa got tired, I got tired too.
All of a sudden, Alisa wakes up and realizes that all that beautiful madness was just a dream, and I turn off my cell phone at night, aware that this wonderful, happy world of magical, beautiful people, locations, filters is one big virtual dream. Alice may no longer dream of that rabbit, the queen, or the hatter, but I return to the land of algorithms every day. Every day I step into the shoes of Alisa, trying to show Nikolina as she is, imperfect, realistic, without filters. And until the algorithm says off with her head, I will be like that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against that country, I found a lot of wonderful things there and met a lot of wonderful people, but it’s easier to navigate that world when you know that the only real dream is the one in Java, which I create every day when I open the door of my shops and I welcome all my hatters, rabbits and queens with a smile.
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