What some are calling an allegory of our future, the photo taken above has the internet in a firenze. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, is depicted walking past an oblivious audience who has just been shown Samsung’s new Gear VR. This is no random event; it is the Mobile World Conference. MWC is an exhibition that happens once a year right here in Barcelona, Spain. To summarize, its basically an event for the biggest tech/mobile companies in the world to showcase what products they have lined up. What is making the event more important each year is the growing population of people who have smartphones and their presence on social media-most notably Facebook who just hit over a billion users at the end of last year. It’s said that there are more people in the world that own a smart phone than a toothbrush… but you know how statistics go, 70% of the time they’re right all the time.
So here we see Zuckerberg, walking down the aisle with his shit-eating grin, seeming as if he is satisfied with the hundreds of people all wired in like they’re in the matrix. You can just picture him scheming, rubbing his hands together, laughing maniacally like he finally figured out a way to completely remove people from reality. As if Facebook wasn’t already enough of a distraction from reality, there’s finally a way to bring them even closer to the edge- virtual reality. Allegory of our future; a world where all the rich bastards can jog around the Sagrada Familia and the rest of us can sit in a room and imagine it… scary stuff, huh? Now don’t go grabbing your tin-foil helmets screaming that we’re gonna turn out like the mindless fat people in Wall-E just yet, I think we’ll be okay. Obviously any warning won’t stop the internet from over-reacting. Some reactions have been just as you’d expect- pessimistic; while others have turned to humor to recreate the scene in hilarious fashion (mine being the Travolta Pulp Fiction scene).
Honestly, with the changes Facebook has been making as of late (especially in the field of journalism) it’s interesting to think about just where we are going with Facebook and how much it connects us with one another. Adding in new features like Reactions to bring more realism to the like button, to its addition of Instant Articles, Facebook is clearly trying to extend its reach into every aspect of our lives as it can. These additions now allow journalists to gage exactly how people are feeling based on a breaking story. In the past, users have complained that when a tragic story breaks, they do not want to ‘like’ it. With reactions, anyone can showcase how they are feeling while the post will continue to gain traffic. Instant articles is following in the likes of Snapchat’s Discovery page, creating an interactive, visual, and easy to use platform for people to read into the news. Facebook is now taking over where you connect with friends, share your experiences, and now read your news. As of today, our electronic footprint and personal data is larger than ever and Facebook knows how to get the most of it out of us. This has both users nervous, and advertising companies salivating.