I’m a millennial baby, born in 2000. The end of the second decade of the century happens to mark the end of the second decade of my life.
I’ve read reviews of the last decade in the media – the shift in politics, the damage in climate change, even the death of the high heel.
For me the last decade obviously saw significant growth. Every major school milestone: starting secondary school, GCSEs, A-levels, graduating and starting university. The decade was one of education, one of growing from childhood to adulthood, one of self discovery.
Unlike kids growing up in previous generations, there’s been one stark difference. I\’ve grown up as part of, an active player in, and a contributor to the new digital universe. I\’ve not just watched the growth of the Internet and social media, I’ve been part of it, and seen it quickly cement itself as an integral part of almost everyone on the planet.
I\’ve looked back on the past decade and it’s breathtaking how much my own experience of technology has changed. Remember MSN? I remember using it and emailing my friends in primary school. As I moved into secondary school, Blackberries and BBM were all the rage and having an iPhone was unconventional. Soon enough, Apple took over. The smartphone is now an accepted accessory – an essential one too. I and others of my age group evolved with the tech. We not only observed digital trends, we underpinned them.
In 2013 I started this blog, fairly early in the history of blogging. I watched YouTube and the phenomenon of the Influencer move from the fringes of society to being a recognised and profitable career. I engaged with the Internet from the early days of Instagram – I don\’t remember existing as a grown up without it. A world without social media is alien to me.
So I sit here and wonder what this next decade will bring, from the state of the world to the digital universe. I imagine my twenties will offer more growth in career, relationships, independence. We all wonder who will be the political leaders, how climate change will effect our world, who will be in our lives. But I wonder what the digital landscape will look like. What will another ten years of tech bring?
What tools will I use? How will I connect? How will we share and consume content? Will mainstream platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook still exist, or exist as we know them?
I\’ve always shared personal style on this blog, mainly through photos and sometimes video. In 2030 will I be using VR or something that doesn’t exist yet?
In the working world, will we even have to interact with people face-to-face or will the digital universe be so pervasive, a handshake or a kiss on the cheek will become a thing of the past?
Online dating is now a huge source of people finding relationships. In ten years time will it be unusual to meet someone at a bar?
Something that also worries me: who will be watching me and how? Will I regret my digital footprint? While I love being part of the digital universe, are there more sinister outcomes on the horizon?
A recent article in the FT asks if we have reached \’peak influencer\’, predicting the demise of the online creator. If that is the case, how will people profit off the Internet?
I\’ve loved being part of the digital growth, an active consumer and participant. And I expect I\’ll be just as enthusiastic in the next decade – the social science of the Internet and how it shapes the world will remain a key interest.
Happy New Year.