'New Networking': The Connections of the Future
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
This OZY series gives you a peek into how you’ll network in the future.
By Charu Sudan Kasturi
Facebook transformed social interactions, connecting long-lost friends but also keeping people online where they might have otherwise met in real life. LinkedIn helps job hunters and HR departments search each other out. Tinder helps you find a date. But what if social apps could actually combine the services multiple platforms currently provide? What if tech could help break bubbles instead of creating them? What if the social media we really need is more local — instead of global?
OZY’s latest original series, New Networking, gives you a sneak peek into the technologies, platforms and strategies that will be central to how the world networks in the future, whether for love or work, friendship or activism. As always, we’ll keep you ahead of the curve.
Social media was meant to help people connect across boundaries. Yet it has also spawned bubbles — big and small — that allow people to live in carefully curated virtual worlds where everyone thinks like them. Until the real world hits them. Now, a growing number of apps are helping to do the opposite. They’re connecting neighbors with each other, countering technology’s contribution in cocooning individuals from their societies. From the U.K. to the Netherlands, and India to the U.S., these platforms are helping people coordinate parking in neighborhoods cramped for space, share resources, alert each other when they see something fishy and recommend things to do — and things to avoid.
You open the app, browse the options, and like one that you see. You smile, suddenly excited. You could be a good match. You swipe right. The person at the other end agrees. You’re set for a … job interview. Inspired by dating app Tinder, a growing number of job search startups are emerging that are relying on AI, machine learning, and crucially, the recognition that HR managers typically either like or dislike candidates in a few seconds. These startups are reinventing an industry that for decades has relied on formal resumes, questionnaires and memos before you even land an interview.
Investigative journalists use it because of its traditionally adversarial relationship with governments. But Telegram — the messaging app with 200 million users, and a major competitor to WhatsApp, LINE and WeChat — is most popular in an unlikely setting. The country where the greatest fraction of people use Telegram is Uzbekistan, which until two years ago was ruled by a Soviet-era autocrat. And a key reason that the app thrives in the Central Asian republic is the government there, which itself is a major user of Telegram.
A group of young Czech entrepreneurs has launched a new social media site called Poetizer, which is now available on iOS and Android and caters to the poetry community in 120 countries. Poetizer seeks to offer a platform for artistic expression and intellectual connection instead of the one-upmanship of original social media.
For millions of women across the world, the internet is an unavoidable place — yet is also a space where they’re exposed to sexist and misogynist online content. That’s particularly so in the former Yugoslav countries, where patriarchy remains strong. But now, more and more women across the Balkans are using their social media channels to expose and ridicule dominant sexist narratives — through satire and humor.
- Charu Sudan Kasturi, OZY Author Contact Charu Sudan Kasturi