I am not going to dig into the history of social media, as most of you already know it. From calling each other on landline telephones, to becoming updated on what all our friends are doing through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social medias – just with this little thing in our pockets. Both the number of users on social media, and the technological development of its different interfaces, has had an enormous growth rate. Therefore, I guess we can expect a lot of new inventions and breakthroughs in this field that affects most lives in developed (and developing) countries.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are two interesting future topics on everyday technology, which I personally believe will affect social media in many ways. One of them just had a big breakthrough – and with all the fuss around it, you cannot have missed it: Pokémon Go. The game is probably not a big technological advancement in the field of Augmented Reality, but a large step forward for the platform when it comes to popularity and utility. What the game does is simple, and the basic feature of AR: Adding extra layers to the real world – which in this case are these little creatures called Pokémon. Although Pokémon Go is not a social media platform, it is really socializing people, according to Gavin Fernando – because players meet each other when they are out playing. Is that what future social media platforms will aim for us to do? Connect people in real life, instead of holding us captured in cyberspace? Now, something like that would really be innovative.
What’s even more interesting is AR technology within “Smart Glasses”. These neat wearables, are glasses that come with a small see-through display to let you interact with the world and the internet in a much more immersive way than before. Some even have cameras and/or tilt sensors. God knows what they will be equipped with in the future. Wareable quotes the following: “AugmentedReality.org claims that shipments of smart glasses will hit 1 billion around 2020, surpassing shipments of mobile phones by 2025.” Imagine the possibilities. If this is only somehow correct, we can see enormous changes in how people interact on social media the next 10 years – the only limitation is the imagination of app-makers. Will we communicate by thoughts? Will we be able to go for virtual walks in parks, located in different continents, together?
Taking it to the next level, there is Virtual Reality. This is more than just adding a layer to the reality. You can put on glasses with video-screens inside and a headset, to experience a completely new “reality”. Facebook recently bought one of the leading products out there, Oculus Rift. They claim they will continue developing it for gaming purposes, as well as social networking. This can lead to a very interesting way of people socializing in the future. Perhaps the future version of Facebook will have a virtual world where you can meet your friends and communicate in different ways? Who really knows what VR will be like?
So, how social can we be?
I personally believe the future of social media is interesting, scary and exciting at the same time. Will those of us who choose to participate in social media eventually get closer, by finding new ways of interacting in the real world? Or will we all just be satisfied with communicating virtually using the technology of tomorrow? What do you think?