Happier in a Smaller World

Our digital future will be a lot of the same.


The most important task of the future will be one of curation. As a result of an increasingly digitized world, we will inevitably find ourselves living within a online bubble. We will be friends with people who look like us and share our views. We will read sites that support our worldview. The world will grow smaller and less interesting and challenging, unless we directly address it.

For those who wish to avoid this, there will be technology to help. Programs will analyze your music collection and let you know, for instance, that you listen to music made by men five times more often than music made by women. These programs will also offer suggestions to assist you: Female musicians who make the sort of music you like.

There will be programs that monitor your social media and suggest new friends who are outside the usual group you would know. They will monitor your reading habits, the food you eat, the places you get news from, and will offer statistics and suggestions. You will be able to decide if you want the suggestions to really challenge you — your taste in classical music might be countered with suggestions of Tibetan folk music — or if you just want to expand your horizons a little.

Many will find, to their disappointment, that even the slightest challenge is very hard for them to incorporate into their life, and people with even slightly different opinions will be irritating beyond endurance. Many will delete these programs and go back to their digital bubbles, happier in a smaller world.


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