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The Social Media Big-Bang and the future of their expanding "space"

It has started way before the top jewels of our days, a long time before I was even born. Its a miracle I know about it, it will be just ok when the near-future generations don't even know when and how it begun.

Internet users wanted to connect to each other way before the very first idea of social network came along. It started back in 1978 with the first bulletin board, a place where people would post info so other users could see them, the very first feeling of the internet, connecting people more intimately than let's say, email.

All until now, the age of the Social Media Big Bang, our very first 10^(−37) seconds of a global inflation of social media.


Digging deeper and deeper

Users globally seem to get attached to social media more and more. People need more connections, businesses and brands are going full-throtlled online to advertise, then connect to engage with customers, then they go deeper and deeper via planning strategies, assigning whole teams on running their social presence. Couples break up, friends from the past get connected again, people collaborate, ideas are created and news are distributed thousands of times faster than before. Probles have been solved, but other have been created in the process, as in any natural and logical stage of evolution.

So what is going to happen to social media? How are they going to evolve? Will Facebook and Twitter always be the same? Actually, social media top players is what classic economics described a long time ago. Some, solve needs that were there and when the networks came, they filled those gaps. Others have created new needs, thus new demand for "products" and "services" only those networks could offer. Thus their extraordinary boom. People loved those for two main reasons, in the very first stages of the platforms. First, because those were new ideas on the web and people love new things. Second, because they brought to the table new ways to connect, chat, gossip and hear the news.

The three stages of life

Like all booming businesses, there are three stages in their life. Consider businesses as stars that are running their final stages. First, the business is expandind, goign well, "exploding". Then comes the stage of maturity, where things cool down, the business is settled and things work normally. After that comes a turning point, where either the business will go on and on and on or start falling in on itself, unltimatelly going into its own death. Older computer businesses on the planet, are a clear example of that process. You can see more than one of those, now being into their last stage, where they are sustaining themselves, until something happens.

Social media, in my opinion, are bound to the same fate, although right now we are running their first stage. Due to the vast amount of competition among those services and at the same time the ever growing tech on mobile computers and devices, social media will try to simulate everything we do in the physical world, up into the virtual. For instance, we have not yet seen a way to meet someone while visiting the super market online. We have not shopped into a mall in 3D, we have not visited a concert via our USB web camera. But all of those are going to happen, following a norm that tends to become a rule : the more problems solved, the more easy every day life becomes in terms of how fast we do things, we will never judge technology badly.

The internet will never be "the internet" again

At the same time when social media will be evolving into virtual simulators of our physical world, those will become the essense of the internet, newcomers to the world of the web, will not be able to distinguish what the internet is and how social media is a term very different. Internet is the platform, the network whereas social media, are an application on it. There are already users I've met that thin that the internet is "Google" or "Facebook", there are others that will never open up Google to search but will try to do this via Facebook's search bar. The first encounter of a 3-year old kid a fellow couple has, was with YouTube, not with the URL address bar.

So basically, social media platforms will define the new version of the internet. We started from "the web" which was the coolest thing that has happened in quite a while on the planet. Then we moved on to "the web 2.0" which was a revolution on what services we provided on the ( now old ) web. We enhanced it even more by making it Software As A Service ( SAAS ) and then we needed more out of it. That is what gap social media filled. We haven't given it a name yet, but social media age could hapilly be version 3 of the web.

So what will version 4 be like? 

Its surelly going to be amazing, fast, instant, connected-all-the-time, rid-of-privacy, consumed via wearables and not just mobiles but it will also add to what is already happening and sometimes, makes me sad. Its going to expose the level of isolation of us human beings. We think we are so close with social media, but in fact, we are so far away. We forgot how walking and talking with a friend is, we think that our Facebook friends are indeed friends and that the more followers we have, the more or rock-stars we are. In version 4, we will be trying to make our 3D model represntation look great ( we are already doing it in games ), make our internet self be what we could not in the real life ( we are also doing such a thing already, in Second Life ). Even though those are things that are already there in i.e. games, in the next version of the web, those will be, well, the web itself.

I will remain a "romantic" internet enthusiast 

Such an evolvement will quite fast though, create an avalanche of changes. How we educate our kids about all those, how we work together, how we sell, how we collaborate, how we hang out, how we meet new people and, I think, everything else. All along the way, we must maintain a romantic eye to the "old days", the ones we are living right now maybe, where there are still fields to play on, coffee shops to go with your friends, routes to walk on Sundays, green fields to harvest chamomile, benches to drink a beer with your boyfriend/girlfriend and a romantic song playing in your head when walking in the rain...

And to close, I will use a cliche closing for long texts and speeches :

"The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life."
 - John F. Kennedy

PS. This article is solely a personal opinion, please read and criticize as such.

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