Post Internet Culture

Post Internet Culture: How To Get Ready

By The Akin


World, you have changed!

Gone are the days of bars filled with bad chat-up lines and good pills followed by a walk of shame. Weekends are now spent probiotic supplement brunching after multi-sensory-colour-therapy-yoga following a late night date in a VR room with an AI boyfriend. As alcohol sales continue to decline and sex slows, will the future be fun? If the space and moments brands previously existed in are rapidly disappearing, how can they prepare for the post internet world?


It may seem like an enormous cliche to begin an article with the statement - technology is changing our lives - but it is important to realise to just what extent, and how nuanced the reach and impact of this tech is, and what that means for the future of culture and therefore the future of brands.


This is not about understanding how people consume - information, entertainment, education - rather it’s about understanding why brands are seemingly so scared of how rapidly technology is changing this consumption.


We don’t claim to be neurologists but we can understand the simple pleasure principle between tech hits - likes, Whatsapp messages, views - and the release of dopamine.


People are getting “high” from tech.

Receiving these regular hits or rewards is affecting relationships with other pleasurable experiences - drinking, dancing and having sex, for example.


Yet so many brands and commentators want to shy away from tech’s influence and are almost victorian in their opinions on society's future. Why are so many people looking for digital detoxes instead of opening up to what tech can bring to culture?


We don’t talk like we used to.

Rapid digitization has altered the way people communicate. Fact. The transition from text, to Whatsapp, to group video call with apps like Fam and Houseparty, has occurred at such a pace that there has been no time to develop clear rules of digital etiquette. We are doing 85% of our communicating in the cloud.


This means many IRL spaces are disappearing.  

There’s no point learning how to talk to someone you fancy on Hotline or pick someone up in a club on VR dating lessons if there are no clubs to go to. Many cities - Amsterdam, London, NYC - are appointing Night Tsar’s to try revive the nightlife scenes.


But culture is just changing, it is not dead!


We are still coming together but in new and interesting ways: post internet world ways. More digital spaces, like Oculus Rooms, will be developed. 24% of US adults want to use or buy a virtual reality headset this year (Nielsen, 2016). Communities once grown IRL are now thriving in the collaborative and safe spaces on online.


So why are many brands still thinking and behaving pre internet?

The way many brands and institutions approach culture is very old school with methods developed pre-internet, based on a whole different set of rules, behaviours and needs.


The creators of New Life, however, appreciate that the rules of engagement have completely shifted and have created a “completely independent platform designed to build the lifestyle of the future disconnected from obsolete infrastructures and relying on the principles of the internet culture and philosophy.”


So what does all this mean?

The world is reforming, culture will never be the same. The trick is not to produce products, campaigns or content for a world that no longer exists. If we forgot all that we know about culture pre internet, how would we use the plethora of digital tools to create innovative and future focused projects? Why do we still approach projects in a linear way? We are not confined to this structure anymore, we can approach projects from any possible direction and work in beta - why don't we approach projects creatively? We are all guilty for delivering a pitch or project in a sexy but linear keynote!


The internet is blamed for killing culture, but actually it’s created an exciting new one. But, as we transition into the post internet era, the physical world continues its reign over the digital, how do we get the internet out into the real life?


What are the new spaces, moments, needs and attitudes? What is the etiquette? Who can be the new authorities? How can brands readjust to fit this new or more importantly lead the way in creating this rapidly changing landscape?


In our opinion brands need to turn the page and start a new chapter, one that is firmly written in the now, in the post internet world, and start reforming the rules of culture.

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