Our future is being documented by us in our present. Each and everyone of us who has a digital camera, a cellphone, a computer or even a camera phone has the task of creating our living digital history in real time. Our digital landscape has changed drastically from the meaningless dribble that once was in a stream of collective consciousness that is being contributed to by all of us. Collectively everything that we capture is part of our digital footprint that will exist as a living breathing legacy of ourselves online.
A simple colloquialism that I believe in is â€œIf you didnâ€™t stick it on the Internet, it didnâ€™t happen.â€ This often initiates laughter in many people but the truth and relevancy of its simplicity is not lost on anyone who understands how our world currently interacts with technology. The knowledge that is gathered and shared in any particular situation has a far greater value once witnessed and experienced by a much larger audience. Exponentially information spreads faster than expected and the Internet allows for the speed to multiply with an efficiency that creates a mutual experience with the world.
The combination of our collective task of documentation and incentive of sharing has joined forces with the thriving Open Source culture. Not only are we inspired to create and then share but we are also infusing the two into spaces, like unconferences and camps, which allow for both situations to transpire. These spaces are open to everyone, sustained by all and owned by none. It only makes perfect sense that our changing interaction with our present state would happen collectively in our own making.
In a world that is scrambling to understand the changing definition of journalism, we are the media makers making the news. What large corporations and traditional journalistic organizations are defiant against, our world is embracing. The tools of our future have landed in our hands with the energetic conviction of participatory learning. No longer are single people telling us the state of our world and the current story of the hour. We are telling our communities in our a horizontal effort to spread information worldwide and not from the traditionally oppressive top down.
This giant shift towards collective learning, open sharing and digital documentation is shaping not only our worlds but ourselves in such a manner that the future is relatively unknown. One thing is noted though – our future will not be static in any way now that we have asserted an active role in its outcome. Our world has finally moved from a place of static pages to a place of moving streams.