Grandma, Grandpa, What Was it Like When You Had Facebook?Posted: June 17, 2011
By the time you’re asked that question it will be almost too embarrassing to answer.
Just imagine having someone from the future describe a social network to you. Would they even call it that? Do you hear anyone calling their car an auto mobile, probably not.
The social networks of our era will be pitiful archaic predecessors of something greater in the future. Of course, that is an easy claim to make about any type of technology that exists today. However, the real reason is not because there will be a better Twitter or Facebook, the real reason is because there won’t be. Such things as superficial, or as digitally limited, as social networks will become obsolete in the way we know them today.
Just look at how a few people are using these inventions already. Constitutions are written, laws are passed, and revolutions are fired up with the help of social media. As trivial as they may seem to us, they will become the prime historic examples of ‘people ahead of their time’ for future generations.
Most people don’t log in to Facebook to change something in the physical world, it’s a virtual hangout. All that will change. The social networks of the future will connect seamlessly with the physical world. We’ve already seen examples of this with augmented reality, where a user can get information about a place or item by simply pointing a device at it. The users of tomorrow’s social networks will be much more attuned to the real world. Not only because information will be available wherever they go but because they will feel a social responsibility to act within the real world.
This is because people will feel much less physically dependent and geographically inclined to each other, promoting international interaction like never before. What will drive this movement is the need to solve global issues through innovative processes which require coöperation from everyone. Additionally, as applications and devices become more mobile so will we. After all, it is our need to be on the move that drives technology to move with us. The next changes will occur when we decide what to do with such efficient mobility and all that extra time, and that’ll be when the digital and physical divide is closed forever.
As we build upon our virtual world we are actually coming closer to an augmented version of the real world. Augmented with greater knowledge, empathy, and global citizens.
So in a not so distant future when you’re asked, “What Was it Like When You Had Facebook?”, you’ll laugh and tell stories of embarrassing pictures you were tagged in and how you stalked the girl you liked back in college. And your grandchildren, who just interacted with students in Malaysia, will look at you with quizzical faces and think how trivial and limited such things were back then.