In 2031, distance between people and countries will become a concern of the past as the power of social networks spans across continents.
The existence of our global village today is facilitated by social media (such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype), but in the future this global community will exist solely through social media. For example, it is projected that Facebook’s user population is growing at such an accelerated rate that it will exceed China and India’s combined population within the next three to five years.
According to Michael Rajzman, manager of social media at Free the Children, new technologies will not change our social interactions at a fundamental level, but instead will give us new avenues for
maintaining and nurturing networks of relationships that may not otherwise exist.
No one knows this better than Adam Garone, co-founder and CEO of Movember, an annual month-long event in which participants grow mustaches throughout November to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues. Movember became a global phenomenon in 2010, primarily through the use of social media.
Garone says we have created tools that enable us to be more connected with more people. “Twenty years from now we will be connected with infinitely more people, in ways we can’t even imagine possible today,” he said.
In the future, users will no longer just view information on a social media platform, but they will be immersed in it, possessing the ability to dive into any world they choose. Instead of viewing friends’ pictures on a 2-D screen, the pictures will be projected all around, creating a three-dimensional experience in which the user is completely immersed.
Individuals are projected as 3-D hologram images, so that a Facebook chat becomes a highly interactive interface. Instead of interacting through photos and posts, we are able to experience the lives of other individuals exactly as they themselves experience them.
Immersions into other worlds would undoubtedly nurture empathy, as individuals would have the ability to literally see themselves in other people’s shoes. Social media in the future, therefore, would play an important role in uniting the members of the “Facebook nation” and in creating a world that fosters empathy and, thus, social responsibility.
– Victoria Aton, 22, is a recent graduate from McGill University, where she studied international
development. She spent the past year doing field research in East Africa and working for non-profit organizations.