What will be the trends in social media in 2013?

Today Nic Newman, a digital strategist and former BBC Future Media executive, introduced some the trends that we will see leading the exponential growth of social media in our lives.

  1. The mobile wallet
  2. Mobile ads will be increasingly invasive
  3. Celebrity spam
  4. Trial by Twitter and online gossip megaphones
  5. Viral news and news microthreads
  6. Digital addiction clinics
  7. Mobile controlled accessories such as augmented glasses and intelligent fabrics

What attracted my attention was the idea that there will be an increase in digital addiction clinics.  Personally, I think we are now so deeply enmeshed in Web 3.0 where data analysis is king, we can not afford to limit our digital interaction and particularly in the matter of learning.

In Bolton, UK, the Essa Academy has issued iPads to all their students. There is no book in sight. Students are immersed in technology as the principle channel for learning and their engagement with the academic staff. Is this embracing the new or creating candidates for the addiction clinic?

It could mean that we have arrived at that important point in time between pull and push technologies? What do I mean by this? Well, with the exception of some “intelligent” search engines and websites, we have control over the data being presented to us. We type in a question into a search engine, click on a link and pull out our choice of answers. Even now, I love following chaotic threads and links through a feast of information and images when I researching new information. Moving on, Google’s search engine provides me predictive answers guided by my previous searches with relevant advertisements. Amazon will ‘invite’ me to view their suggestions based on my purchase history. Augmented reality tools are another push technology. This all seems to be a natural progression where ‘push’ technologies will anticipate our questions and needs.

So, should I book my place now? What will the digital online clinics do for me? Will they be retreats into unsupported acts of self actualisation?  melting pots of conspiracy theorists? behavioural experts in social integration or even enthusiastic personal trainers knowledgeable in my unnatural act of sitting down?   

Who knows. What I do hope is that they will be gentle reminders of the wonders of being human.

The full list compiled by Nic Newman can be found at the following link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20813371

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