Whether you’re in business, politics, art, literature, film, religion, or even none of the above, this article is a definite “must read”. The world has transformed drastically in the last 5 years. Remember when we entered the Computer Age (or the Information Age)? That was only within the last decade or two, and yet we now stand at the brink of another revolution. What ever happened to ages taking centuries to revolutionize? I suppose the definition of an age has changed. Nevertheless, the world is moving at an accelerating rate, which means that we must remain steadfast in our efforts to keep up with these rapidly changing times.
Although people have hinted at it, society has not yet defined our newest revolution - the beginning of what I like to call “The Sharing Age”. Think about it - we share everything today. We tweet when we’re at the gym, we update our Facebook pages to inform friends about every aspect of our lives, and we even check in on Four Square when we go to a local Starbucks. Furthermore, we’re now sharing our music with complete strangers through Myspace and Ping. The government can track everything we do, our friends can learn about every aspect of our lives, and strangers now have easier and smarter methods of stalking and scamming us than ever before. What ever happened to privacy? Whatever happened, it’s about to get worse.
In the next 5 years, Mashable is predicting even more changes to the world, which will propel us further into the Sharing Age, and this extends beyond Social Media. With all of the new inventions out there (and with people more openly willing to share most aspects of their lives), marketing professionals are ecstatic. Now, not only do businesses have the ability to monitor your purchases, but they’re also able to make accurate predictions about your behavior. Talk about a psychological nightmare, and let’s not forget that this is all coming from a marketing professional.
Perhaps my favorite item on the horizon is Geo-fencing. Click on the link to read all about it. This type of marketing is instantaneous one-on-one marketing at its finest, combining the virtual world with the real one. Using your smartphone, a company will be able to track when you enter into a preassigned area around its stores. For example, if you’re a loyal Macy’s customer, you might get a text on your phone if you’re walking close to their signature Herald Square store. That text could include a “special” one-time-only coupon that could say something like “Come into Macy’s within the next 30 minutes and present this coupon for 10% off any pair of designer jeans.” That’s not the scary part - Macy’s will know, based upon your previous purchase behavior, that you love designer jeans. In other words, this coupon really is specific to you (and all other designer jeans fans). If you were more of a frequent shoe shopper, the coupon could have presented you with 10% off any pair of shoes. Scary? Convenient? I’ll leave that up to you.
Either way, the world is being propelled into the Sharing Age, and you’re sharing your information with more than just your friends - you’re sharing with the government, companies, and perfect strangers. I’m not necessarily saying this is a good thing, and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing either, but what I am trying to say is that we are becoming more open to these new social trends, and that will only develop as we soar into the future. Compare 2005 to 2010 alone, or even 2000 (remember Y2K). What will 2015 look like?