The future of social media…?

While I can no longer receive the programming offered by WXIA (“11 Alive”), our local NBC affiliate (signal’s too weak), I still have their app on my phone, and they send me news updates, so I don’t miss their newscasts. In addition to the local news, weather, sports, and traffic, they also publish a lot of general-interest stories.

This week, there was a story from Julie Wolfe, one of WXIA’s reporters, that asks the musical question, “What will social networking look like in 2058?

The social media company Ku (and, God knows, we needed another social media company) anted to know the answer to that, so it looked at current trends and said, if those trends continued, by 2058 people would be posting to social media an average of a hundred times a day. That’s an average of a post every fourteen minutes and twelve seconds, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Without a break to go to the bathroom. Gotta go? Take your phone with you. (Apparently, there are those that do.)

This line got to me, though:

The poignant moments comes when the subject posts “Two polarizing fears: that everyone is watching, that no one is.”

Shades of Oscar Wilde….


The article goes on to say that the folks at Ku don’t think social media will grow at its current pace ad infinitum. Paul Curran, Community Manager for Ku, said this:

“We want to believe that with technological innovation, we will also grow in terms of social behavior. In some point down the line, perhaps we will understand that chasing our next social ‘rush’ is equal to taking another hit from a cigarette.”

There’s Oscar again…


You know? That might be it. All of this social media stuff started when smoking became such a social evil. I can remember the days when I’d meet friends and we’d talk, drink coffee, and smoke cigarettes. That was our social networking. Now, if you’re going to have cigarettes and coffee, you better take your coffee to go and sit as far away from the front door of Starbucks as you can…

I know. I’m being facetious. I’m not sugesting that everyone go to a Starbucks and light up as a form of protest. Nor am I suggesting that we should all take up smoking, because that’ll improve our sociability.

But, you know what… maybe we need to put social media in its place. Mary and I were at Target the other day, and we were walking behind a woman who was walking like she was disabled, like I am. We walked around her when we could, and her disability was that she was trying to walk down the aisle and text at the same time. Another day, I saw a kid of about three run through the Target parking lot and almost get hit by a car. His mother was about twenty feet behind him, texting. Regardless of how many laws are put on the books prohibiting texting while driving, and how many PSA’s run on TV showing the last text messages from people who were texting while driving, people are still doing it.

Maybe we need to revisit the joys of being unavailable. Remember those days? If someone called you, and you weren’t home, the phone just rang until the caller figured, “well, guess they ain’t home,” hung up and called back later. If someone stopped by your house and you weren’t there, they moved on. Maybe they left a note, maybe not. If you were out of the house, say at a restaurant, and needed to use the phone, you found the pay phone (installed away from the dining room), called your party, and explained “I can’t talk long, I’m at a pay phone.” And, if the phone rang and you were in the bathroom, in bed, watching your favorite TV show, reading, or in the middle of cooking or eating dinner, you didn’t answer. There were no cellphones, text messages, email, social media, answering machines, caller ID, no other way to contact someone; you either called them or went to their house, and if they weren’t there or weren’t answering, well, tough bananas.


And maybe we need to get comfortable with the notion that we’re going to miss things, and that it’s okay and, if we really need to know, we’ll hear about it soon enough. Mom used to say that, no matter how you felt about something, six billion Chinese could care less. If that’s the case, maybe it’s really not that important.

The world of social media is the world of Truman Burbank. Do we really want to be part of it? Do we really need to keep up with the Kardashians?

Anyway, best of luck to Ku. It’s essentially Twitter except, instead of sending tweets, you send “Hey, Ku”s. For those of us in the writing business, it’s another place to make our presence known, another plank in the platform, as it were. So don’t forget.

I’d love to know your thoughts. What do you think about having another social media outlet? Do you know anyone who posts to social media a hundred times a day? Do you miss “not being there”?

3 thoughts on “The future of social media…?

  1. I do text when I have to. It’s the easiest way to talk to some people. But I much prefer talking. Or, better yet, emailing. I do admit that I am one of those folks who takes her phone into the bathroom, but that’s mostly so I have a book in there. 🙂 If someone calls, that’s just happenstance (though the husband seems to have psychic powers vis a vis potty time calls). I do like the email/power of the web part of having a cell phone, but I mostly use the Kindle or the Kobo apps.


    1. Mary’s friends all text, and she refuses to learn how. When she has to, she tells me to do so. She’d rather email, too. I personally hate talking on the phone. I only have the one usable hand, which means I have to either sit there and have my hand fall asleep while someone is talking, or put the speaker on, and Mary doesn’t like me making noise while she’s busy reading or knitting.

      Have you taken a look at Kindle Unlimited? All you can read for $10 a month, on a selection of books. Mary’s already burned thru all the romances.


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