Going back in time, the hit TV Show “iCarly” was a great illustration of where we seem to be headed now in our evolution of social media. The nostalgic children’s show influenced several children to want to engage online in the same way they did using the like of YouTube or by simply uploading videos to platforms that allowed it. Now we see similar representations of their influence in makeup tutorials, gender reveals, or simply just going live for fun.
Here is a short clip of one of their episodes where they influenced livestreaming:
icarlypicture - Published on Mar 5, 2013
"iCarly! Webshow (#1)"
Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmAym1Wkzok
Up to now social media has allowed us to passively communicate leaving a lot of things up for open interpretation. When I mention passive communication, you can imagine platforms like Twitter or Tumblr where you may have a profile picture of yourself or even post photos of yourself, but it isn’t the direct nature of the platform. These platforms usually are more artistic and grounded on reading and constant scrolling whereas platforms like Facetime, Skype, Instagram, Periscope and Facebook want to actively see who they are communicating with. One instance of passive communication is in how we are able to like a comment rather than forming a complete thought in response.
In my opinion, I believe we are transitioning from passively communicating to actively communicating, directly through social media. Parts of why this transition is happening is because of the revenue it can bring in as well. (Lamberton & Stephen, 2016). The majority of the newest platforms that have surfaced within the past five years requires users to use their face to communicate. (IE. Snapchat, Vine, Facebook Live, Instagram Live) This is the direction we are headed in as it makes it more difficult for people to fake engagement or “catfish” another person.
Here is a video further explaining the direction social media is headed in:
Chris 'Kubby' Kubbernus - Published on Feb 20, 2016
“THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL MEDIA - LIVE VIDEO, SOCIAL VIDEO, SNAPCHAT AND MORE...”
Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLOSncNwrrU
As a millennial born into the transitional period of the internet and into the social networking world, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to say we all are experts on how to manipulate social media to our liking as the internet has become a vital part of our daily lives. (Penni, 2017) What the future holds is certainly unknown, but we can idealize what is to come as we’ve projected it in the past with newer platforms such as Snapchat, Periscope and several others that have allowed us to communicate with less misunderstanding.
Growing up, the new generation had a lot of creative control over who saw what for our online presence. And while we still do have control, it is limited and harder to manage than previous years. In Danah Boyd’s “It’s Complicated” she analyzes how context over the internet can be misunderstood between this generation of teens’ and their friends and family.
While Boyd would not agree with social networking sites being deemed as problematic to offline communication, from my own personal experience and through interactions with others I have seen it cause tension from misinterpretations, however, I believe that it can be mostly positive if used properly. Issues like online bullying, stalking, “catfishing” are just a few of potential problems that can arise, but with all communication is the possibility of conflict as we are human. We must carry on and look at each problem that arises through a case-by-case basis for us to completely utilize all forms of communication, respectively.
If you have been monitored the past and current trends in social media that have included MySpace, Vine, Facebook, or even going live on Instagram you would be able to recognize and assume that what we think of the future of social media is in how can we become more physically involved to interact with our peers. Much of the information I’ve read about up to now points out how what we are doing now will become not necessarily obsolete but more so the foundations of what is to come.
Platforms, like Facebook, have created developments that deliver information in a way that’s hyper-personalized. Every morning when I wake up, I reach for my smartphone. As I scroll through my Facebook news feed, I actively “unfollow” people and organizations that share information I don’t find useful or entertaining. As a result, the information I see in my news feed is more and more personalized to who I am. Humans love information that reinforces personal beliefs, and have an aversion to information that challenges preexisting notions. Piera Gelardi from Refinery 29 makes a similar point in that “we're already seeing increased personalization, more individual-to-individual communication, more humanlike algorithms and more specified, diverse social platforms”. Gelardi believes that those trends will continue in the future to create a divide between socializing and publishing via social media. (Wellons, 2014)
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have also allowed you to customize your profiles to display what you would like others to see even after you have posted.
Here are some examples from my accounts below:
Predictions for Social Media in the Future:
According to Chirag Kulkarni from the Entrepreneur, we will continue to see a liking toward live content that is poised through a camera. The ability to see through other people's lenses in real time is becoming a force in social media as the camera is emerging in prominence. (Kulkarni, 2017) Consistent with this idea, Zomorodi and Oprah point out that “people like visuals, so in the future, photo- and video centric networks like Instagram will likely be king. Plus, visuals transcend language and generational barriers. A picture does the talking for you.” (Zomorodi, 2016)
In the future, similar to now we will continue to utilize mobile software as it is convenient and quickly able to access the internet. Adoption of mobile forms of communication is key in the progression of any new emerging social platform. (Marks, 2013) From a scholarly article in my ‘Internet and the Society’ course, the article mentions that as “mobile communication gets more and more pervaded by mobile Internet services, it is also woven into the wider media context, involving both hardware (docking stations, mobile cameras,
mobile audio players) and software (Facebook, Skype) and a few all-embracing software platforms,
sometimes referred to as ‘‘eco-systems,’’ such as Android or the Apple eco-system involving their respective app-markets.” (Humphrey, 2013) These types of mobile advances will carry on into how we utilize social media specifically. Humphrey’s also discusses how prior to now browsing social media over the mobile web browsers like Safari and Google Chrome.
Another thing future social media platforms will most likely consider is in how private the platform allows users to be. While nothing on the internet is completely private, there are more separated sections to some of the platforms like today. In our platforms today we are able to “direct message” someone on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
In another excerpt from my Internet and Society course we discussed how not everyone in the world sees certain things as needing to be private. Here in America, where other countries like India believe it’s only for secrecy and malicious intent, we value privacy as we implement it heavily in social media and in our daily lives. (Dourish & Bell, 2011) I definitely value privacy because I appreciate having not only my own mystery about myself but also having my guard up as people have tried to take advantage of me in the past with me being open about me, in all instances. I also want to point out that I value privacy a lot because of the harsh criticism that comes with being so open. People do not care about how they respond to who you are and the way you live, especially over the Internet where they are protected by a screen and distance. This excerpt has only given me insight to hold on to the things that I deem as needing to be private while other’s parade their everything.
While new emerging platforms favor Live content as their way of producing and engaging the world, in the end, my main concern is that with each new platform that we actually find it resourceful and valuable to our daily lives. We do not need another useless platform or to lose the ones we’ve created memories with. Hopefully that is also in consideration of the new developed social media platforms.
Vickery, J. R. (2014). Book review: danah boyd, It’s complicated: The social lives of networked teensboyddanah, It’s complicated: The social lives of networked teens. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014. xi 281 pp. ISBN 978-0-300-16631-6, $16.88 (hbk), free (ebook). Mobile Media & Communication.
Penni, J. (2017). The future of online social networks (OSN): A measurement analysis using social media tools and application. Telematics and Informatics, 34(5), 498-517. doi:10.1016/j.tele.2016.10.009
Howard Marks (2013) The Use of Information Technologies, Social Media, and Mobile Devices in the Libraries of the Future, Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship, 25:3, 232-233, DOI: 10.1080/1941126X.2013.813317
Dourish, P., & Bell, G. (2011). Divining a Digital Future. doi:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015554.001.0001
Lamberton, C., & Stephen, A. T. (2016). A Thematic Exploration of Digital, Social Media, and Mobile Marketing: Research Evolution from 2000 to 2015 and an Agenda for Future Inquiry. Journal of Marketing, 80(6), 146-172. doi:10.1509/jm.15.0415
Humphreys, L., Pape, T. V., & Karnowski, V. (2013). Evolving Mobile Media: Uses and Conceptualizations of the Mobile Internet. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 18(4). doi:10.1111/jcc4.12019
Kulkarni, C. (2017, August 03). 11 Ways Social Media Will Evolve in the Future. Retrieved November, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/293454
Wellons, M. C. (2014, October 02). 11 key predictions on the future of social media. Retrieved November, 2017, from https://www.cnbc.com/2014/10/02/11-predictions-on-the-future-of-social-m...
Zomorodi, M. (2016, May). What Social Media Is Going to Look Like In 10 Years Read more: http://www.oprah.com/entertainment/future-of-social-media#ixzz5048aGjGw. Retrieved November, 2017, from http://www.oprah.com/entertainment/future-of-social-media#ixzz4xH3lNo1z