The Future of the Media — My Predictions

One of the most profound observations I’ve made since beginning formal study of the media, is that we seem to be caught up at a crossroad of sorts. I’ve learned terms like “old media” and “traditional media” to describe practices that were only beginning when my parents were my age. Even lately, I was shocked to learn that newer model computers are being made without CD trays.

I look to newspapers and the 6 o’clock news as examples of industries caught in some sort of twilight zone. The shift is happening now, it’s happening rapidly, and no one is really certain where it will lead.

No one can discount the huge role social media has played in shaping our world over the past ten years. Especially in the last two years or so, it’s changed how we get our news, how we interact with each other, and how we think of ourselves. But the internet is still only in its infancy.

The future of the media is being shaped by those involved in it right now. The biggest challenge for the everyday person will be to decide which movers and shapers to trust, and which don’t have your best interests in mind.

Our over-reliance on technology means that the human experience is being shaped even more closely by Moore’s Law. The law, which most experts agree to be true, says that the processing power of computers doubles every two years.

As our computers function faster, everything in society seems to happen faster. We demand our news immediately, usually at the expense of real in-depth analysis. We demand our entertainment be immediate, usually at the expense of substance.

The Director of Engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil, predicts that humans will be able to upload our entire brains to the internet within the next thirty years or so. What is the future of the media? I predict an exponential increase in information and access to information, such to the point that our needs are instantly gratified.

The media of the future is wildly unpredictable, in much the same way that people 20 years ago couldn’t have imagined where we’d be today. I imagine it will be woven into our lives in such a way that one is indistinguishable from the other. Our thoughts and actions will be playing out online and in real life almost simultaneously.

As above, so below. As within, so without. You ain’t in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

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