Social Media and the advancements of the Internet have helped shape my professional goals. According to a Reuters article, “More than a third of the global workforce will be in the gig economy by 2023.” I have a sneaking suspicion that will most certainly be me.
I don’t know how, yet, but I would like to be a digital nomad. I could create videos, write for a news publication, or tutor someone online. All of these career goals would not be possible without the advancements of social media.
My college major itself revolves around social media. Most of my classes require me to do assignments on websites like Tumblr, WordPress, and YouTube. Being a Communication and Technology student requires my presence and participation on social networks.
My significant other is a full-time Uber driver. He is part of what is known as the sharing economy. The sharing economy is “ the use of technology to facilitate the exchanged goods or services between two or more parties.” If for some reason he were to be without a smartphone and no Internet connection, he would be unemployed.
As social networks become more and more prominent in our lives we will learn to depend on them. It will be as important to have access to wifi as it is to have a car, food, and friends. This is good for the job market, but not necessarily for our physiological well-being. Despite the great innovations of the digital age, the increasing use of social media is not helping us connect. On the contrary, social media is making us feel more and more alone.
With that being said, we cannot escape the Internet. I mean we could, but only the elite, secluded artists, and people living off the grid have the luxury of doing so with no repercussions. So what can we do? I think we should all learn how to stay off our smart phones when it is not vital that we use them. It sounds a lot easier said than done, but with the increasing demand for our attention, those who can learn to focus —and not get distracted by the screens — will be the people that thrive in today’s attention economy.