It is very interesting how most “The future is going to be this…”presentations and videos are starting to all feel the same and center on common themes. Themes around cloud computing, always-on devices available everywhere, and convenient personalization of each person’s world whether at work or play. The videos that deliver these stories are calming with a feeling of control, and peace of mind. Yet there are elements that are a little uncomfortable.
“Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should” – Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic Park
With cloud computing comes the ability for devices to become more powerful, more portable to hold most of our everyday functionalities that we take for granted. In result we should have more time freed up to spend with our loved ones or interact with people. We should also be more connected to others. Ironically, watching these videos there is an eerie sense of disconnection and isolation. We strive to be more efficient in our lives especially when it comes to our work. But the little annoying stomachache about all of this is how the future is so focused around how devices will function and not on the true content benefit it self. Are we truly headed towards a social ecosystem where we rely on these devices to run our lives, be always on 24/7 everywhere we go yet be so isolated from true face-to-face human interaction? Oh, wait, is that already happening? Perhaps.
It is no wonder that we live in a world of instant results where the world markets are now a level playing field between businesses and consumers. We are all mini databases and enterprises that are walking down Main Street, riding public transit, and sitting in wireless cafes as our offices. What are businesses to do in managing the future workforce who is becoming more and more isolated and driven by these devices? What will this future workforce who is in high school right now demand from employers? These are daunting questions that we face in our professional and personal lives. Perhaps, our brainstorming sessions may take on “un-plugged” themes as we look to the values that drive our needs first rather than the 10 second immediate thrill rides.