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They’re right about a tsunami coming, but it’s the complete opposite of what they’re thinking

July 7, 2012

I stumbled upon this blog post today by a guy named Eric Kuhn. Eric was reporting from the Aspen Ideas Festival, where he sat in on the “Next Internet” panel. Apparently this panel of prognosticators were all abuzz about a “titanic shift” in the online world (the world that most of them likely see as the one that matters most). Not that we need to bother with differentiating between the two worlds, because according to the panel, our daily lives are destined to be more and more merged with that great database in the sky.

The way they see it, smartphones flourished while personal computers faded, which is proven by the existence of 4X as many smartphones in the world as computers (as usual with these people, numbers are the truest measure of value).  Smartphones point the way to the future, where you and your device will be inseparable. We are getting a glimpse into the future with Google glasses and Nike Fuel Band bracelets. That’s what tomorrow holds: literally plugged in 24/7, under constant self-surveillance, and never separated from a voice smart enough to tell us anything we need to know.

Can you say creepy!? Listen, here’s what I see as the next big wave — I’m calling it right here: One helluva kickback is coming against all this oppressive technology, smothering us, polluting our mental air, and draining our bank accounts. And you know who’s going to lead the revolt? That’s right, young people. The tech companies’ own greed is going to come back and bite them. As their market gets younger and younger, they risk creating digital burnout by the time people reach the dangerous, revolutionary age of 17 or 18. If you look at the graph below from Pew Internet Research, the FIRST DECLINE EVER in social networking occurred from 2010 to 2011 with 18-29 year olds. An anomaly? Or a trend?

We shall see, but my hunch is that our humanity is too primal, too spiritual for us to buy into the posthumanist dream of the convergence of man and machine.

SNS by age over time


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