Although social media is the hot topic of the decade, it obviously can't be the end-all for humanity. We are much smarter creatures than that. Everyone knows that technology is a swift changing animal.
As much as we love riding the social media bandwagon, there will come a day when the wheels will fall off. Nothing lasts forever; at least not in it's current form. So what comes after social media?
In The Beginning...
To project what's to come after social media, we need to look at life before social media and what led up to it. We have always been social creatures. Our desire to connect with other people is integrated in our software (and hardware in some instances...).
From the invention of language to the construction of roads, we have strived to connect ourselves with other humans since the beginning. Writing, fashion, the telephones, cars; they all were created to let us interact with each other.
If you think about it, social media has been around since the dawn of the internet. In the early days of dial-up people were immediately drawn to themed chat rooms where they could essentially instant message strangers.
In 2003, MySpace kicked off the social revolution to the mainstream. MySpace introduced personal pages for each user, and added photos to the mix. This made things much more personal. We went from instant messaging with chat room strangers to an online community filled with real-world friends and family.
Today we are seeing social media fragment into various themes and functionalities. If you just want to post photos, get on Instagram. Like to share ideas, try out Pinterest. Want to mingle with professionals, LinkedIn's where it's at. Now that our personal lives are a click away, where do we go from here?
Where We Go From Here
To peek into the future of where go from here, we need to think about future media technologies. One form of media on the rise is that of smart devices. Smart tv's, cars, and appliances are becoming more and more mainstream. By "smart" I am referring to devices that use data from the internet to create a better end user experience. These devices are in their infant stage, much like dial-up was when the internet first started.
Imagine seeing friend's comments about shows and movies streamed on your tv while you are watching that particular program. Picture your refrigerator sharing your families recipes with you, and letting you know what you need to make them. What if your car could recommend nearby restaurants and businesses that your friends are checked into, or highly recommend?
I think the future of social media is the progression of it moving off our laptops, phones, and tablets; and into everyday devices we use. This synergy between social media and the tools we use in our daily lives will create a richer experience, and ultimately connect us even more. Will we still call it "Social Media" is yet to be determined. Perhaps we'll have a different term for it, like "Social Devices".