While tools like WhatsApp are ubiquitous, it still sorts of blows my mind how much connected we are. I am back in the Netherlands after spending around a month in different Indian cities – meeting colleagues, friends, and family. And while I am on a different continent in a different time zone, I feel strongly connected with them.
Some friends remarked that I had not gained an accent after 3 years in a ‘Western’ country. But how am I to gain a new accent if I spend hours talking to Indians on WhatsApp?
So while Facebook and other social media products are facing a backlash, the core need remains, and is even magnified. And we have passed the point of no return. There will be other products to keep us connected. And maybe some are here already, like they say about Fortnite:
We get on to play, but we’re really just hanging out. Fortnite has built-in voice chat so it’s seamless to just jump on voice, talk about the day, life, whatever is going on, without even really realizing it. We’re playing the game together, dropping from the Battle Bus every ten minutes to start a new round, but what keeps us there is that we’re all spending time together.
And while my relatives in India aren’t hooked onto Fortnite yet, they are sticking to something that’s close enough – PUBG.
I love this development – this is probably the first time in human history that people can have a shared experience in time, while being at different physical places. And while we are seeing great products enabling this experience, there will be more, and better ones.