There are a vast array of social media platforms out there today where you can share anything, from your political platforms to your love of 70’s revival fashion (platforms included). In this digital, paperless world (sorry Dunder Mifflin), we have risen to the occasion of making sure that we can interact with each other as fast as the speed of light. The press of a button or a sequence of touch screen commands on an IPhone 7 has the power to influence the world. We are at the pinnacle of human achievement.
Most of us (Gen X, Y, and Z) have an affliction for these social media platforms. Those to our liking will grant us hours of entertainment or enlightenment, dependent on your content control. That being said, how do we truly control what content we see? In the prior age of books and print media, frankly put, what you see is what you get. As a book lover I still enjoy picking up a book, because I know that this novel that I’m reading will not send me on a tangent into the realms of internet ads and information, instead you stay encircled in one story, with one beginning and one ending. This way of taking in information is memorable. While riding the waves of the story, peaking with the climax and riding out the resolution, you are fully encompassed into one sea of thought, as opposed to being submerged in a nightmarish ocean with depths beyond your reach.
What is the value of information? I know if I see a book that I know is a seminal work or has high-octane knowledge in it, I will pay for it (especially if I see it at Goodwill for 1/4 of the price!). Most of us would have no problem doing that and this is proven true even in the ebook age (most of my books in “IBooks” are paid for).
Would you pay the same price to read your college roommate’s thoughts about global politics? Would you pay to “be in the know” of the latest “meme” craze or video “challenge”? (Challenges are great, especially those for a cause, but isn’t life a challenge in itself?) In the modern world, does social media house our most acclaimed knowledge? Is this the knowledge that can mold the system and better the world? Some may disagree, but the forthcoming generations have no other outlet. Essayists become bloggers, poets become hip hop artists, and philosophers become Facebook ranters. In the digital world, how will we manage what has value when there is such a large quantity of content? Will the viewing of certain social media accounts or entire platforms in general cost us in the near future? Will “shares” have a price, causing us to be “cost effective” when it comes to sharing content? Will following verified accounts come with a price tag, considering that they have knowledge that proved to be successful for them? Will we have the option to pay for more characters on Twitter? Who knows the landscape of 50 years from now. If I told you 50 years ago that I would be writing this article in a notes “app” and copy and pasting it to the “internet” and sharing it to my “friends” instantly around the world, you would call me crazy.
This is a Brave New World, we are certainly in the Age of Information.
Originally published at theburlapsackco.wordpress.com