Smart phones and mobile devices, equipped with high quality cameras and global networking, have made unlimited transfer of the documentation of our daily lives quotidian (a new word I picked up from Hello Avatar: the Rise of the Networked Generation by Beth Coleman). I wonder, dear reader, if you are beginning to feel (as I am) that you have seen enough photos of day-to-day life to last a lifetime. Various entrees, potty training, new shoes, and cute animals may be interesting to those involved, but become meaningless with exponential increase.
I see a trend toward disposable media, such as the Snapchat app. The raw, unrevised information uploaded every second could be described as “intellectual junk food” which does little to nourish our minds.
Bruce Sterling, media futurist and design geek, predicts that augmented reality may soon congest the world with 3D spam (geolocative information trash) (Coleman, p.153). AR may have purpose for historical documentation, both personal and global; however, some people view the mixed reality heading our way as a kind of “reality hack” that blurs boundaries. An example, is a ghostly overlay of the twin towers created by Wikitude. The towers, through augmented reality, may be interpreted as an historical and symbolic icon. Yet, advertisements and a barrage of 3D images may soon compete with historical data, current events, and personal user-generated content.
How are we preparing ourselves for the “X-reality” evolution described by Coleman(p.65)? Currently, educators and librarians are gathering strategies to prepare 21st century learners for information literacy in unforeseen territory. The young adult fascination for the “zombie apocalypse” may have some interesting symbolic interpretation! Get ready…who knows what lies in our future. As we navigate the information sea of chaos, each individual becomes responsible for information intake.
Choose wisely- both your sources of information and your personal network.