My entire generation and I grew up with the internet. We have seen it change and morph and evolve in ways few people could have ever imagined. There is no doubt that changes will come in the future that will affect the way we all live. The important question is if those changes will be for the best or send society further down a self-destructive path.
The popular YouTube video, EPIC 2015, paints an interesting and at times alarming picture of the future of the internet. The video begins with an informative story about the beginning of the internet, explaining the influence of a man named Tim Berners-Lee, inventer of the World Wide Web as we know it, and sites like Amazon and Google before flying off into a fictional future in which print media is all but pounded into submission by internet giants.
In the future, according to EPIC 2015, Google and Amazon merge to create a super-site known as Googlezon. Googlezon uses Google’s trade mark algorhythms and Amazon’s personal recommedation feature to create a site more powerful than any news organization. This eventually leads to the creation of EPIC, a site that takes information from users to create a completely personalized news experience without the help of journalists. This ultra-personalization creates a totally sensationalized media experience that caters solely to a person’s own interests.
This video, though a piece of fiction, makes one wonder if something like this could actually happen. I, personally, don’t think it is that far-fetched. Think of all the changes in the internet since its inception. Social networking sites have revolutionized the way people interact with one another, sites like YouTube and Hulu have threatened the boob tube for viewing supremecy and music sites like Pandora and Last.fm allow people to create a virtual radio station more in-tune with their tastes than any traditional AM or FM station.
The internet, with all of its possibilities, seems to be overwhelming traditional media in a way that, if it continues unchecked, could create a future like that of EPIC 2015.
Though I use the internet and Google as a tool as much as anyone else, I find myself thinking of its eerie possibilities. Facebook and Google could slowly become Big Brother. Google seems to know everything about us, our interests and hobbies, the sites we visit the most and Facebook lets people see and hear about what we are doing on a moment to moment basis.
If we are not careful, unlike in the novel 1984, the government won’t need to monitor us, we will do the job for them via the many wonders of the web.