What does our future look like?
I stumbled upon this newspaper snippet dating back to April 18, 1963. 59 years ago, having a smart phone was labelled as still “far in the future" and yet here we are. Not that far in the future but living in a phantasmagoric reality of the absurd.
They knew we would inevitably be carrying our phone in our pocket but would they have ever thought that we’d become so dependent on them? And also, if you had a Dr. Who-esque time machine (or simply was friends with The Flash), would you go back in time to stop it?
From one side of the coin the technology we have created has helped us evolve into homo videns. But the technology we have created has evolved at such an exponential rate that it is surpassing even human processes. Don’t get me wrong- I’m using my phone to type this article right now so yeah I haven’t packed up my bags and resorted to living in a cave with monks (just yet).
I’m just concerned with what is coming. What the future holds as we don’t seem to be learning from the lessons of our past. And with neverending viruses, we’ve adapted so perfectly to our new normal that is nearly 100% online.
Simple things like going to the supermarket is now being replaced with self checkout points and virtual grocery shopping in the metaverse with a friendly meta bot guiding you along your dietary journey. Ok I can hear you asking “Soph you actually enjoy grocery shopping?” Far from it BUT I think it’s one of those things that grounds us to reality (unless we’re the Kardashians).
What’s even more surreal is that this VR video that was made for Walmart by a digital agency in 2017. “Even though the clip itself is not an example of contemporary metaverse visionscaping, the fact that it’s indistinguishable from this material is damning.”
It’s as if the past, present and future are all entwined in a pastiche of nonsensical stream of consciousness (I can hear Virginia Woolf clapping). So is the future, where we’re headed to really “new"? Or is it just a repurposing the old into a collage of past ideologies as a rebranding technique?
As Kirby Ferguson said, “everything we create is copied, transformed and combined" from our culture. Our beliefs, identity are remixed from what we watch, read and listen to. Ultimately, it is the storification of media snippets closely tied to our emotions that produces a version of reality that is different to each and every one of us.
Take the time to doubt yourself. Do you believe everything you read, watch and listen to? Ultimately, our dependance on the virtual is creating an alternative reality where our true selves don’t exist anymore or rather multi-faceted spectral warped figures of multi-selves living in multi verses.