What would you miss if you switched off the Internet for just one minute? In sixty seconds, as this infographic (created by @LoriLewis and @OfficiallyChad) shows, we would see 3.5 million search enquiries on Google, nearly 2 million photos created on Snapchat, over 4 million hours of video watched on the video sharing channel YouTube (and 400 hours uploaded), nearly half a million tweets sent on Twitter, and more than 16 million text messages sent. Tinder would see almost one million swipes (doesn't differentiate between left and right swipes!), almost a million logins on Facebook, and more than 150 million emails would be sent. This is a human phenomenon that we couldn't have anticipated even ten years ago. The exponential rise in these online activities tells us that many people in the western world live in an 'always on' hyperconnected culture, where we seem to be wedded to our smartphones and laptops.

Recently I shared a version of this infographic on Twitter, with the caption: 'We are all just one click away from connecting with every other Internet user. The trick is knowing where to click...' It resonated, with many people sharing and liking the update (itself a measure of interest in the social media age). It's staggeringly true. We are a hyperconnected society. We can literally have a live conversation with anyone who has a social media account, if we and they are willing to spend some time doing so. I have enjoyed some very interesting chats with famous musicians, actors and politicians on various social media platforms, and some very instructional discussions with professors, teachers and other education professionals in my own particular field of expertise - and so, probably have you. The entire point about this post is that when we can do this, the world of knowledge opens up before us. We can learn anything we wish, at any level we require, and all from the comfort of our own homes.

The caveat is that we need to know where to click to access these interactions and knowledge bases. This is where knowledge about social media and how it works is important. Digital literacies, competencies and readiness will be increasingly important in our society, especially within our schools, colleges and universities in the coming years. I hope we get it right, because a lot is at stake.

Creative Commons License
Hyperconnected by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Martin King said…
I Used To Be A Tech Fanboy (see https://goo.gl/G8ygjU)

I was hyper-connected and used to revel in it but I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and its the headlights of an on-coming train - you might want to check out "Digital platform: your operating system" https://goo.gl/75rBf2

So much of this is noise rather than signal ... the web is becoming a tunnel and its full of noise and echos

Now I am looking for another way.

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