Futurists of the World takes on Social Media

Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

Remember that shutdown that occurred to Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger a while back? Well, we gathered a few Futurists in a Clubhouse room to discuss what all this meant, and what kind of future social media could head into.

Social media can be a powerful tool, but it can also be dangerous in certain situations. How is the world dealing with the issues that this is bringing? Will social media still be relevant in any of our futures? these were some of the questions that were brought up during this conversation.

So, here’s a quick recap of a few things we talked about:

Data/Privacy

This has been an issue for a very long time, so it’s not something new, but it always makes us paranoid on how companies actually use our data for. How much are they influencing our choices and decisions? There was a participant that mentioned how some people hack because they just want to prove that there is a vulnerable opening.

Adding hurdles of verification and identification can help, but will there be a limit? One other participant mentioned how logging in with a brain scan can be one solution. However, will we ever succeed in an era where deep fake videos are being made, and where people can recreate our voices? Well, we really hope that security advances much faster than the hackers.

Online Presence

Someone mentioned how the algorithm may not like the kind of person you are. That you don’t fit the description of what a content creator is suppose to be. It is a bit tough for some underrepresented individuals who are trying to express their voice, their opinions, or their knowledge. Is there a better way to improve discovery without trying to obey what social media platforms wants you to do?

Speaking about presence, there are filters that surprisingly changes your facial features easily. Deep fake technology is no different. Even though a small percentage of people are able to use this kind of technology, it wouldn’t be surprising if it becomes more popular because it is cheaper than doing surgery. Nobody is going to see them in person, right? Well, imagine if a predator gets a hold of this technology. It’s a bit scary to think about, and one that needs to be addressed asap.

Social and Media

In a time where these social media apps/platforms were created, it was mainly to connect to friends and family. To socialize, to engage, or to comment on a post of a friend. It’s to see new updates of people you haven’t spoken with in a while, or to share something that you would like to celebrate with people you’re connected with. Even our pets have their own social media accounts to receive virtual hugs, kisses, and loving words!

However, there has been a shift to where you don’t socialize as much anymore. Take TikTok for example, you see a video that is entertaining for you, and you follow the account. But for some reason, you sometimes don’t get to see that particular creator when you open the app, or any of the other accounts that you have followed. Instead, TikTok shows you new people more often than your chosen ones. This doesn’t give you the chance to fully engage or interact with the creator that you followed. It seems like a simple thing to fix, don’t you think?

New Features?

People are talking about the Metaverse, and how it might be another social media platform that could take social to a different level! For good or for worse, that’s always up to the users in the end. Being able to interact with each other as holograms would be something to experience. Who knows how that will turn out. For now, we have Pokemon Go who provided an Augmented Reality experience for people to go out from their homes, and socialize with one another in a different way.

Also, would you like to have a dead individual to be reanimated, and to have their own social media account to express their thoughts and ideas like how they would if they were alive? Do you think you would like to continue doing speeches or talks after you passed away just by having a machine learning scan your entire digital presence and footprint? Think of the moving portraits in Harry Potter. This could also be like a stepping stone for people to look forward to a J.A.R.V.I.S-like artificial intelligence.

There is a lot to consider when we look at the internet, social media, and how it affects people. Personally, we like social media since it connects us with many people we wouldn’t have been able to in person, and we do our part to make social media fun! What do you think when it comes to social media and the future? Do you think it will continue to exist alongside humanity for a long time? What kind of negative and positive examples can you think of in regards to social media to your life?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

A screenshot of the participants from the Clubhouse room.

Follow the Using Foresight page, and our social media accounts (@usingforesight) to be informed of any or all of our future events. You can also check out our website to learn more of what we do, and the other kinds of content we create!

Until next time!

Credit: Alexandra Whittington, Nathan Gilliat, Deepshikha Yadav, Monica Mendez Caballero, Emmanuel Naranjo, and Victor Sarat

This a short summary of an audio-only conversation that was held in Clubhouse on October 15th, 2021.

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