It is not a secret that these days the world’s development is at its fastest rates. Only 15 years ago kids had to invent games using their imagination whereas today the game world is almost fully absorbed by virtual reality. Only 15 years ago the phones had not much more functions than calling and instead of Google we searched for information in libraries.
The development gives us enormous benefits and powers except that it creates an unsolvable dilemma by affecting our humanity: the further development goes, the more it destroys communication between people. And I always knew about this tendency. It does not surprise me when nowadays I often hear people mentioning Netflix among their main hobbies. What possible explanation could there be that instead of finding ways to communicate more effectively, we tend to keep losing the essence of communication? A while ago the level of my anxiety towards that communication dilemma rose as never before. I learned how high the amount of virality and engagement rates virtual influencers tend to get from my Social Media Management teacher. Luckily, all the other students were shocked as well, hearing that the future belongs to this type of bloggers. They have millions of followers, take part in fashion shows, chat with users and sell ads on their accounts for thousands of dollars but with a condition of not being real but visually animated by a computer. We all argued with her opinion stating that humans will always be interested in following real people with feelings, but not the artificially created ones. “They are not real, I don’t feel comfortable with following robots, it’s a trap” – these were our thoughts until we heard the argument against it: “You all watch movies and fall in love with characters from “Harry Potter” to “How I met your mother”. These characters are not real, but you watch them with your breath held and keep loving them anyway”.
Here we are, believed to be thinking about preventing global warming and climate change while some of the hardest challenges of Generation Z are trying to stay in touch with friends and searching for the right level of transparency of sharing our lives online. And the reason for these issues is quite simple – we lack trust. There is not a single person among us who was not burned, betrayed, shamed, or misjudged and what is left for us is either find enough braveness to risk again or protect ourselves from ever experiencing pain again which most of us choose. If we open up our eyes, we will be able to see how far that issue has gone. The trends of 2021 among companies are privacy, security and transparency as consumers lack trust and are in need of incentives to keep their relationships with brands. Even though the technological part is brought to a new level, we lose the most essential part of the communication – the one which makes us humans. What really shows the perspective of where communication might end up is the year COVID has brought us. Online university and remote jobs? Have we kept the same relationships with our classmates or co-workers? Have we met new people or experienced any new emotions? And that’s not the scary part yet. There are a lot of people who would like to keep living that way. 2/3 of my classmates have told me they would be okay with their final year to be held online. People don’t want to go out of their comfort zones anymore even if it takes away such an important aspect of life as communication. Non-existent bloggers taking away our spots? Being absorbed by Netflix world nights instead of friend’s nights out? The future of communication between humans looks frightening, and we are not doing anything to prevent it from happening, only isolate ourselves from people and emotions even more. The only solution I see is the following: development gives us so many opportunities, but it is only our choice to either remain being humans or let ourselves drown in a virtual world with no feelings. No matter how many times I was or might be burned in the future, I choose to trust this world. That’s the only path to happiness and I’m ready to take in all the risks.
By Anastasia Iarovaia