I really like Merci’s hypotheses in Fueling rocket ships and thinking about the stars, especially this bit about “Internet Native Social Networks & VR/AR as the New Self”:
Communities and modalities of self-expression shift as generational norms change. People who grew up in the 1980s and 90s wanted to capture fleeting moments: Gen-Xers sat next to the radio waiting for a favorite song to play so they could tape it. There are only dozens of photographs and very little video of Gen-Xers (today, ages 39–58) and first-wave Millennials (today, ages 25–38) as children. It makes sense that these cohorts created companies like Instagram and Youtube — they grew up wanting to save moments. Conversely, second-wave Millennials (today, ages 13–24) were photographed and videoed endlessly growing up; their parents made them email accounts and bought them domain names before they could even legally consent to being online.
This generation values live or fleeting experiences. Video is demonstrably important here, along with the rise of streaming social experiences as well as AR features and apps. Social networks where people have a multiplicity of identities or temporary, easy-to-discard accounts will emerge and look more like a series of smaller walled gardens than one massive network. And as this generation enters the workforce, their experience finding jobs will mirror the flexibility of these social networks as many of them become members of verticalized workforces deployed via mobile apps.
There’s more in the article, but that’s a good taste of her general thoughts. The “fleeting experiences” bit has been kicking around in my head for a few days now, so I thought I’d share her piece here.