The recent figures about social media show that roughly 80% of the Internet users are social already and that people spend more time with social media than on gaming. Although the majority uses social media to stay in touch with family and friends, more users become fans of certain brands or get otherwise interactive. In other words, we extend into virtuality.
Thinking about it, I wondered how children born today would live in such a hyper-connected world, once they are grown up - which would be around 2030. Please follow me in my small thought experiment. Let us start with age three in 2015, as the children will probably become aware of technology around that time. Hopefully not in form of a potential smart phone induced attention deficit disorder, if their parents spend too much time online and not enough with their kids. But as a father I trust the power of the toddlers to get their fair share.
Most children without get in touch with the online world in the kindergarden latest. I am pretty certain, that some kind of creative boards for painting and play will be used from 2015 on and they will probably come with video telephony and chats to get in touch with anxious parents. Kids will find it quite normal, that surfaces that look like flat screen are interactive and that they see their parents while talking to them or get in touch with them through typing. Furthermore, the increasing educational pressure will probably lead to specific learning programs for the kindergarten on suitable devices and surfaces. And yes, I am really looking forward to see how the industry comes up with a device that survives mud baths and being used as a versatile hammering tool.
When our 2012 children enter school around 2018, learning by then will be based to a large extend on interactive media, online material and self-education. As today’s children are starting early with smart devices and social media, it is safe to assume that school kids and youngster will be used to play, learn, work and express themselves interactively. Additional changes will come from the private side of life, as devices, TV, social media and gaming will have merged into a seamingless entertainment experience. Furthermore, all kind of daily things will interact with us: mirrors, tables and other surfaces with in-build screens, interactive clothes monitoring our health and performance, tools watching their use and all devices we use to connect to the most near-by data stream aka Cloud.
So this is a technological view, a scenario of the future, that you might be familiar with already. But how will the daily life of the 2012 generation feel and look in 2030?
Life is a cabaret
My view is that the commonality of the hyper-connected world will lead to a life style significant different from now. I think, it is safe to assume that the daily experience in 2030 will be significantly more shaped by an entangled world than ours today. Life won’t be just a cabaret in 2030 of course, but the feeling will be close and the common life of today will be perceived to be boring – or at least lack spice and color. Technology will offer self-expressing instruments that will transform much of what we consume into an outright entertainment. Information that is not transformed into a kind of entertainment won’t get much attention. Some examples: news will show more virtual zoom-in and interactive scenarios, educational content will be more like co-acting in a Shakespearean drama than just reading or watching it and cameras will allow us to record, replay and share everything we do instantaneously. This trend will act both ways: we will perceive information only if it is entertaining and we will organize our life to be entertaining. So the children of 2012 will have grown up in an increasingly interactive and noisy environment and will have learned to present themselves from early childhood on. What they will do in 2030 is to live a life as an entertainment or as I call it: lifetainment.
Are you prepared for it and will you take an acting class right now?