Home > Social networks, Web Communication > The key to the future: social networks and global communication

The key to the future: social networks and global communication

William Uricchio suggests that  “the future of social media is rooted in the past”. Social networking is a natural consequence of our human condition: Aristotle claimed more than 2000 years ago that man is by nature a social animal. Mankind has always sought new and more sophisticated ways to communicate. We witnessed the dawn of a digital era that will surpass everything we ever imagined in terms of information flow. Internet transformed our lifestyles and social behavior, as the physical world and the limitations implied do not exist in cyberspace. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow us to meet our friends and reach and interact with almost anybody online: for the first time in history, a new boundless parallel world of communication lays open to discovery. What will the next step be?

In fact, social networks are more than mere communication platforms; they are shaping the future of modern society. The role of social networks has been decisive in the Arab Awakening, for example, or the 15-M movement in Spain.   Barak Obama successfully promoted his presidential campaign through active involvement in social networks. Last minute news is constantly updated and discussed through social media, as the recorded death Libyan dictator Gaddafi exemplifies. Since the natural disasters of Haiti and Japan, social networks have proved necessary tools for coordination in emergency situations. As Shashi Tharoor stated during the UNESCO conference about Communication and Social Networks (O7-12-2011), “social networks are here to stay… so we should try to get the most out of them”.

So, what is next? How will social networks evolve? According to Charlene Li, “social networks are going to be like air, and will permeate everything that we do online and offline. It will be anywhere and everywhere you need and want it to be. It will be seamlessly built into our everyday experiences, rather than shoe horned into the corners of websites. And like air, if it isn’t around, you will feel like you can’t truly breathe and live.”  This expert in social media states that our identity, contacts and activities will be more crucial than ever to determine our role in cyberspace, and suggests that in 15 or 20 years from now, we will find it odd that we had to enter sites like Facebook to be social, because in the future our e-mail, Open ID, blog and social network accounts will probably merge into one single space we can control. Other experts such as Jeffrey Zeldman highlight the omnipresence and ubiquity of social networks, which will be “baked into everything we use, from desktop software, to mobile and the web, to the thermostat and phone in our hotel room”.

The importance of social networks will gradually increase in the ever-changing cyberspace, with direct implications for the real world, as global communication will constitute a central activity underlying all aspects of society: economy, politics, culture and education. Mankind can only progress trough world scale coordination, because world scale problems hinder our development. A massive financial crisis, pollution, the climate change, diminishing natural resources, global scale terrorism, the third world: these are the conflicts of our age, which need to be solved – and can only be solved-  jointly. Globalization crosses national barriers and aims to forge a new world conscience, which is the only way to secure a future for us citizens of the world, or at least for the world itself. Any other road will lead to final self-destruction. The tool we need to convert theory into practice is precisely social networking. Andrés Schuschny perfectly summarizes the future of social networks in one sentence: “I think, therefore I am will be replaced by I am connected, therefore we are“.

References

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: