Wednesday 24 November 2010

The future will be digitalised

I've never seen anything like it. I never thought I'd see anything like it. This post isn't planned. It's not going to be cohesive, elegant or eloquent. It is, instead, a reaction to the events currently happening in central London and across the UK, as the nations next generation take the future into their own hands and draw their line - digitally.

Tweets from @ucloccupation, who at one point were suspended for too much activity by Twitter are an astounding example of the way social media can be used to get your message across in real time. The 100 or so students camping out at UCL are being peaceful. Entirely peaceful. Pictures posted to the feed including this one show young people doing what young people do......

Actually, no they don't. That right there, apparently, is the 'media table'.

Think about that for a second. Yes, this has been brewing for weeks and yes there's been some time to rally for the troops and organise the output and organise the events. But a 'media table'? Really? What the hell are we teaching these kids at university nowadays that they're so organised and switched on?

Of course, it's not the teaching. It's society. In our focus on the way society has become so celebrity orientated we forgot something - it's also become intensely media aware. We assumed everyone was taking the lessons from Katie Price and thinking that getting your tits out was the only way to acquire fame and success. We did the next generation a great injustice in doing so. And now we learn, now we see. The future generation took all we taught them, indirectly, about self promotion and branded perfumes and they learnt the lesson well. Then they took the lesson and they applied it to their politics, to their morals and their codes. They picked it up and passed it on, and passing it on as we speak, the network of tweeting students in occupation spreading. Talking to journalists without needing to pick up the phone. Using Twitter like a knife to cut through the noise and explain. Passing the account from hand to hand and producing soundbites from individual protestors.

The point?

Typing furiously. Using the tools. Channel shifts. Ways of communication absolutely changed in the future world where by any means necessary means choosing words and having the intelligence to understand the power of words.

The future will be digitalised.


  1. w00t.
    we just have to wait for these kids to boot out the dinosaurs eh?
    My only worry is that it will take another decade, by which time with half the country or more still on the copper phone network the world will be truly digital and these kids will have emigrated.
    The Hermiones of the world on that table, no sign of the jordans. Ay, the future will be digitalised, you are spot on. As flamin usual hun.

  2. Still on copper phone network - rubbish. In 10 years time everyone will have at least 40M.

  3. Chris> Me and @seawooddesigns were just saying the same thing - that picture encapsulates everything which is good about social media on so many levels. Somewhere, somehow, it became okay to be Hermione. And you know, I get the distinct feeling that if that's what this lot are capable of at 18, 19 or 20, then we really really don't want to be leeching them to other countries. Our GDP needs that lot and badly.

    Somerset> I really really hope you're right. Because with this lot working together in the companies of the future, the future is indeed the old Orange advert.

  4. Somerset, indeed, in a decade most of the country will be on 40 meg FTTC. rurals still on BET 'upto' a meg, and the rest of the world will be on fibre. Gigabits. And our kids will have gone. They won't come home from uni in the holidays as it is cos they get used to good connections... The kids are the future, that is why we have to get IT as good as we can.

  5. Protests have always been pretty media-savvy in my experience. The difference now is that the tools are better and more widely distributed. This can only be a good thing.

    The challenge now isn't quantity but quality.

  6. 'Celebrity' or 'social media' savvy?
    Social change through technology gets predicted as coming 'off the top' that is from where the power nexus currently lies (celebs cultural & political) but actually comes from users 'at the edge' when the user-interface gets simplified and can be re-appropriated.
    Nice post, exciting times :-)