Life begins online.This is the heyday of Generation Y, the rulers of the A. G. (After Google) world, ruthlessly attached to our smartphones and forever checking social media. We are a wireless generation, responding to pokes and pings tirelessly, Instagramming every trip anywhere, liking, commenting, sharing, tweeting and, dare we forget, Snapchatting!
We grew up with tech, and now we are shaping a brave, new global landscape with these tools. Numbering roughly 2 billion global internet users, armed with knowledge we are optimizing health-care, creating new forms of entertainment, and lazily shopping online from the comfort of our couches. Click by click, we are creating an international community spanning oceans and continents. All these interactions and transactions generate data, creating an unprecedented information megastore. The number of clicks, swipes, shares, and pokes made every second creates a mind-boggling amount of information. As the number of internet users continues to grow, the already-staggering amount of data created will continue to grow exponentially. An extraordinary level of information is now in circulation; in 2012, the amount of information generated by internet users and their connected devices surpassed the zettabyte level. You want to talk big numbers? The zettabyte contains a lot of zeros: 21 to be exact, roughly equivalent to the data contained in the Library of Congress x 50 million. 24/7 we are putting info out there. In the blink of an eye, one literal second, we create all of this:
Among our posts? Picture of children’s birthdays bursting with love and smash-cake; commiseration in all caps over ex’s who stole baby pictures and ugly sweaters, God knows why. We celebrate promotions; we mourn defeats; we track our fitness and our careers. We are Generation Y, and we are connecting the world, one byte at a time. Take a moment to consider the amount of data created. Who benefits from your data? As the saying goes, if you’re not the consumer, you are the product.