“I saw a guy at Starbucks today. He had no smartphone, tablet or laptop. He just sat there, drinking his coffee. Like a psychopath.”
In a smartphone-fueled world, where making eye-contact with people is an increasingly rare experience, many of us are wondering whether technology has completely changed the definition of humanity. How do we interact with each other today? And how much of it should be based on technology?
In one of our meetings at The Market Mogul last week, we had an epic debate about how much of our planning should be done using software and how much should be discussed face-to-face. While we ultimately reached agreement on the topic, it got me thinking about what the humans of tomorrow will look like. With the rise of smartphones, social media, AI, electric cars etc, are we really that far from the things we saw in sci-fi movies only ten years ago?
One of our authors this week put a question to the world: does Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica transgression overshadow the positives that the company has brought to the world? Should it? (Read his article here)
It’s undeniable what Facebook has done for the world – from bringing us closer to the people in our lives, to liberating voices and empowering democracies all over the world. And with such change, there will always be downsides. And there will be consequences we can’t even begin to fathom. Did the world need a way for people to communicate more, be more empowered, enjoy more freedom? Absolutely. Is the world able to handle all of it, and the problems that come with it? That’s another matter, and one which we are right to debate and progress.
In a distant future, when we look back at today, will this be a point of reference in our evolution? Or will this incredible decade be, in a Terminator-like future, the one that brought about changes and progress which became too complex, too challenging, and even too sinister for society to control?
It’s definitely at least worth asking ourselves that question. Just after you’re done reading this on your smartphone 😉
(Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
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