f last week’s multiple reports about Facebook is any indication, the world is way too reliant on social media. Let’s set aside the whistleblower who basically says Facebook is purposefully selling our mental well-being and discourse for profit. Let’s just look at the six hour outage where the internet basically caught on fire. Imagine a traffic jam in every city at the same time and that’s how big of a deal it was when political yellers couldn’t share their memes on Facebook and 12-year old girls couldn’t post selfies on Instagram. All that was left was TikTok where 99% of the videos are the “Fancy-Like Applebee’s” video.
This needs to be a wake-up call for all of us. And the call shouldn’t be to cut back on the use of technology – it’s just that we need to start leveraging the right technology. We’re hanging on every tweet and TikTok video, but Siri and Alexa are no more helpful five years later than an egg timer. I asked Google when it was going to rain Sunday morning and it said it couldn’t say – only that it would rain. These automatic cars aren’t coming along as quickly as they should, yet Elon Musk is floating in space.
We had this huge evolution as a society in the early 2000’s with the internet, but social media has us stuck in mud. It’s like when you turn a cartoon on for a two-year old. They stop what they’re doing and just stare and drool. That’s us right now.
Let’s look at sports. We’ve added some technology, but are still afraid to use it fully in things like replays and in-game communication. Imagine how fast MLB games would go if everyone had a headset they could relay signs and replay reviews were instant. Imagine Chiefs games where you use the giant 200 foot big screen TV to replay calls rather than some 20″ set.
We’ve learned how companies can adapt to working from home, but now we have to work smarter. The amount of time we still spend sending emails around to communicate. Imagine a virtual environment where communication is real-time. (Unfortunately, Facebook is working on this, too – so I’m not optimistic.)
I have a robot vacuum, but it won’t vacuum my stairs. I have a car that runs on electricity, but we still have traffic jams. I have a cell phone with a thousand times more power and intelligence than the computers on the space shuttle, but I can’t seem to get TikTok to stop showing me that “Fancy like Applebee’s” video.
Sure. These might sound like first world problems. And, frankly, they are. But the technological inventions of Greek society revolutionized the world. The space program brought the country into the 21st century. Medicine and science have all improved to a point – but the next 10 years need to bring us more than just fighting over memes on Facebook and bring us resolutions to some of the world’s big problems like homelessness and racism and getting that dang Applebee’s song shot into the sun.
The world will never be the same thanks to Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Google. But it’s the next companies that will decide what the next 10 years will be. Maybe we can make it fancy. Fancy like…
(Get more thoughts from Chris Kamler by following him on Twitter, where he is known as @TheFakeNed, and learn about his knowledge of sci-fi and fantasy flicks in an Oct. 21 episode of Landmark Live)