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Digital Careers Modern Technology The Internet

Web 3.0: Restoring Trust & Health

Web 1.0 allowed people to read data across the internet. These were the very early days.

Web 2.0 is the booming currently, with people reading & writing data to the web. The kings of web 2.0 are the Googles, Facebooks, and Amazons of the world. Web 2.0 is hyper-capitalism + online surveillance with a strong dash of monopoly. Web 2.0 is when the web become a true extension of big business.

Web 2.0 eroded the trust of typical users, jaded a generation or two about the internet, and helped prompt immense social unrest and discord through irresponsible social media platform leadership.

Social media use has been connected to depression and radicalization. Facebook and Youtube’s algorithms have advertising dollars at heart, and not your children’s health.

However, it’s not all bad. Not by a long shot. These same tools that have caused great harm are also used every single day for amazing purposes. Facebook gave families, businesses, and churches video streaming tools to effectively use during Covid19. Amazon had the supply chains in place to accelerate modern commerce delivered to your door. Youtube has become the worlds “How to” center for learning new skills and ideas by video.

The Web 2.0 has been a mix of dark and light, like any new human technology. With the advances in accessible AI tools for companies and individuals, where are we headed now? What will the Web 3.0 look like? What problems do we want Web 3.0 to solve?

Personally, I believe some of the biggest revolutions ahead will revolve around education, housing, and expanded remote work.

Student debt is a crushing problem today for our younger generations. Housing unaffordability is another equally stark problem younger people face. Finally, good jobs for younger folks is the third challenge of our age.

As we embark across the 2020s we have the opportunity to shape Web 2.0 into a healthier, more equitable, decentralized, experience for all internet users.

People should own their personal data. Period.

Tech companies should pay people for their personal data. Period.

The web landscape has a chance to become a more fertile ground for small tech startups once again that sustain and grow for the long term, rather than be gobbled up by larger firms to consolidate monopoly powers.

We’ve had a few decades to witness the health impacts of people being glued to phones and screens. Instagram and Facebook used unchecked foster the seeds of depression and anger in young and old alike. Amazon used unchecked fosters hyper-materialism. Google dominating advertising unchecked results in the cratering of local news sources.

None of these tools are inherently bad, but they are not solving the biggest problems for most people. People don’t need an endless buffet of product ads targeted to them, they need an affordable, high-quality education. People don’t need endless access to 2-day product delivery, they need an affordable, safe, sustainable home. People don’t need a digital middleman to friendships and local exploration, they need real connections in person to foster true community.

These companies didn’t create the problems we have today. They’re filling specific needs that are market driven. Some companies are making needs, like Apple. None of this is bad, or their fault. Consumers fuel this.

However, it’s time for us to wise up.

It’s time for us to ensure that we’re giving ourselves an effective education in true digital literacy. After we understand the meaning of true digital literacy, it’s time we teach our children and communities too.

Education is the key to harnessing these powerful internet tools for everyone’s sustainable benefit, not just West Coast social media angel investors an executives.

Web 3.0 needs to give students the tools to graduate debt free, with a high-quality education. My dream is for Live Oak Computer Science to be a part of this effort.

Web 3.0 needs to help us fast-track 3D printed homes, and sustainable design at scale to bring affordable, safe, well-designed homes to millennials and Gen Z.

Web 3.0 needs to help us redesign and reconnect our communities to be walkable, locally focused, locally farmed, and locally managed so that we regain true, local, human connections to build and maintain vibrant communities.

Web 3.0 needs to be smart than web 2.0, and it requires us to be more educated to manage it better.

The technology is never bad in and of itself, it’s all about how we use it, or let it use us.

Will we design a web 3.0 between 2021 and 2030 that eliminates crippling student debt through innovative education? Will we design a web 3.0 that democratizes sustainable, affordable housing design and production? Will we design a web 3.0 that fosters true, trusting, safe, and healthy communtities?

I think so. But we have to educate ourselves and those around us.

  • More local gardens, less binging Netflix.
  • More small businesses, less social media.
  • More educational innovation, less overpriced higher-ed.
  • More garage tinkering, less “2-day shipping”.
  • More sustainable homes, less Zillow wishing.

Everyone has to speak up. If you don’t speak up education will remain overpriced and predatory, homes will remain out of reach, and digital middlemen will continue to sell our connections to each other.

Let’s build a better web for everyone that serves us better, and distracts us less.

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