Virtual Reality Could Take Over

Before this class began I knew technology would have a major impact on my career, and my life in the future in general, but after this class, and after going on the virtual reality field trip it sunk in how huge of an impact technology is really going to have, and how major the changes coming in the next couple years are. Virtual Reality is on the rise, it’s a compelling system where you can literally get lost in another world for hours on end. In an article for The Atlantic, Mark Zuckerberg said, “One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people” (The Good and Bad). In the article they talked about how it’s basically a race to see who can make the best VR equipment that will make its way into the homes of the general public. Currently Google, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, and Facebook are some of the major players.

Along with the future of VR, other technology is everywhere. Technology is in the workplace, in the schools, and even in the presidential election. President-Elect Donald Trump ran a very abnormal campaign, in the sense that he had almost no traditional advertisements. “An unprecedented feature of Donald Trump’s successful campaign for president was his personal use of Twitter” (Trump’s use of Twitter). Current President, Barack Obama, has a twitter but it usually isn’t run by him, and it isn’t used to be the primary sharer of new political information. “Trump hasn’t held a press conference since July, instead opting for the more controlled setting of interviews and of course Twitter, over which he has total control” (Trump’s use of Twitter). These days control is very important to people, and technology lets them have as much of it as possible.

Along with keeping everyone up to date with everything Donald Trump, Twitter has recently started live streaming major football games, although this is fairly unrelated to the future of Advertising and PR, it is breaking the ground for other live streams in the future. “In the next decade, we will see a growing overlap between the physical and digital worlds” (Twitter is Transforming). I take this as meaning that if you want to be at a certain event, you won’t actually have to be there. This is already some what a reality, you can watch sports on TV, you can live stream events on FaceBook, or other networks, but this article takes it further, they believe that in the near future you will be able to use Virtual Reality to actually feel like you are attending these events. “Virtual reality is one element that social networks and streaming services could use to completely change how fans watch sports” (Twitter is Transforming). But it doesn’t stop at sports, you could experience anything from a concert, a speech, your class, or an important meeting.

This could even be used as an advertising tactic. Say you’re working for a hotel in Mexico, and they’ve hired you to try and recruit more customers, with VR you can create a online “reality” of the hotel and the beaches, and use that to try and lure in new customers. Anyone can look at a picture of a beach and wish they were there, but if you put on a pair of goggles and are transported to the beach, you’re going to have a harder time taking them off and going back to reality. “Digital advertising has become a key part of most marketing campaigns” (Social Media Advertising). This would be yet another new aspect of social media advertising.

Since it is so new, VR is constantly improving. Currently they’re working on making it a more physical experience, “Headsets today are doing an excellent job at catering to your visual senses, and a little bit of audio as well, [but] that’s just two of the senses. Once you begin catering to the rest of the senses, like what we feel body-wise, temperature-wise, and smell, the reality factor of virtual reality [becomes] stronger and the virtual piece begins to fade” (3 Things to Know). You can already quickly get lost in the virtual reality world, and adding on the other senses would make it so much easier.

Overall, I think that it is going to be very important to keep up with what is going on in the technological world. Everything is so constantly changing, that according to Social Media Advertising, four years becomes “a lifetime in the digital world.” A lot can happen in a lifetime and you’re going to want to stay on top of it so you don’t miss anything.

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Generation Like

“When I was a kid, we were outside from when the sun went up until the sun went down” and “Why don’t you kids ever put those electric boxes down and go out and make some friends” are two phrases I heard from my grandparents weekly while I was growing up. And they make some good points. WHY does this generation insist on being glued to their phones 24/7? As silly as it sounds, there are entire worlds on their phones.

When my parents and my grandparents were young they would come up with imaginary worlds, or pretend games to play, but this generation doesn’t have to. Everything they could ever imagine is already on their phone. And before anyone gets mad at me for this – I’m not saying kids shouldn’t go outside, and I’m not saying they should be glued to their phones 24/7, I’m just saying it the way this generation sees it.

Growing up with the internet as such a massive part of day to day life has definitely made my life great at times, but it has also made it terrible. Being a part of a tech-savvy generation I can’t imagine trying to drive more than 30 minutes out of my town without the GPS on my phone. Along with the technology that is useful in our day to day life, it’s incredible how quickly the whole world can know about something seconds after it happens. There are some perks to this, but there are definitely some losses. It’s great to be able to keep up with friends and family you haven’t seen in years, or celebs that you’ll never meet, but there were definitely some days in high school where I wished I couldn’t see all of the parties I didn’t get invited to broadcasted live on everyones snapchat stories.

In the documentary, Generation Like (2014) they interviewed various celebrities, and talked about how the internet has impacted where they are today. One of the people they talked to was YouTuber Tyler Oakley. I have been following Tyler for probably 5 years now. He was born and raised in Michigan, he went to Michigan State University, and we have a lot of the same interests – the most major one being Pop Culture.

Tyler Oakley got famous on accident. He went off to college and was no longer with his family and his high school best friends everyday. To make this a little easier for him and for them he started making random, low quality videos about anything and everything. As he continued to make these videos he started getting a following, and today he has over 8 million subscribers on YouTube.

Tyler is one of many internet stars, and one of few who are using their power and their voice for good. From reminding all of his followers to vote, to advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, it is incredibly important for people with a following as massive as his, to use their voice for good. What is the point of having 8 million followers if all you’re going to talk about is Justin Bieber and Grey’s Anatomy?

Social media has become a crucial part of day to day life, especially right now. With the election just a few weeks away, I feel like every time I log onto anything all I see is Donald Trump this, or Hillary Clinton that, and I’m still not sure if this is good or bad. Although I do believe that everyone has a right to share their opinion, are some of the opinions being shared taking it too far? I have many friends who will try and talk politics to me and all they can talk about is some article they saw on FaceBook that said this or that about one candidate so now they’re voting for the other.

Although it’s hard to be bombarded with so much information every time you log on, something my parents always taught me, and something that I think everyone should do, is take EVERYTHING you read with a grain of salt. Just because your second grade teacher shared an article on FaceBook does NOT mean that it’s true. Overall I think that the presence of social media in everyones lives, although it does have its consequences, is for the better. It’s a quick, easy way to share a photo with your grandma, or connect with your best friend from 4th grade. Maybe we should all just humor the grandparents who tell us to go outside, and bring our laptops outside from time to time, and surf the internet from there.

Koughan, F., and Rushkoff, D. Generation Like. (2014). United States: Public Broadcasting Station.