Social media really began to emerge with the advent of Blogger in 99. The following decade saw a proliferation of social media platforms (Friendster 2002, LinkedIn & MySpace 03, Facebook 04 & Twitter 06). Today there are an estimated one billion social media users worldwide and with social media only being in its adolescence this is likely to increase exponentially in the years ahead. Social media has become as much a part of many of our lives as running water and electricity. Some have even gone as far as to argue that some of us are now addicted to it. Researchers have warned of the rise of ‘hyper-networking’; which they define as students who spend more than three hours per school day on social networking sites. Are the adults of tomorrow becoming socially stunted as a result of this affliction; unable to communicate effectively?
Then of course there are the physical evolutionary ramifications of this ongoing transformation in human behaviour. Close your eyes and picture what a human might look like in the future after innumerable generations of ever increasing social media usage.
Sitting at a futuristic desk in front of a holographic screen is a sedentary creature with an enormous skull; evolved for the purpose of assimilating an endless stream of information. Beneath the desk the creature’s legs are visible, shrivelled from inactivity. An elongated thumb extends outwards, effortlessly rearranging the information on the screen in front of it. An alarm beep signifies that it is dinner time. Barely a moment later a vacuum sealed bag is deposited on the futuristic human’s lap. With several unseemly slurps that would have horrified many previous generations of humans, it deposits the processed mushy contents into its mouth and swallows them instantaneously. It is only now that I notice the receded chin; no doubt a result of humans no longer needing to chew.
Not once during this whole episode does the futuristic human’s attention shift from the screen in front of it.
Perhaps my imagination is getting the better of me and at any rate it is about time I was getting back to Twitter.