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The attention economy: Addressing the digital divide in 2021



A crisis provides an opportunity to revisit outdated models and pave the path for game-changing new models. Years of behavioural and technical change have been accelerated in a short period in recent years. According to Forbes, it’s as if we’ve travelled back in time during a period of perpetual uncertainty. Here’s a quick rundown of the cultural trends that will shape the near future.

Enter the matrix

The concept of a more immersive virtual environment that is indistinguishable from reality is approaching reality. The digital environment has the potential to play an important role in meeting the demand for interpersonal connection. Virtual reality has appeared in films such as The Matrix, Total Recall, Upload, and Dark City. It is not only doable now, but it is also immediately appealing to individuals living in the thick of the global pandemic.

The gaming business, which is worth $180 billion, is critical to this transition from a physical to a virtual environment. The conditions are perfect for connected virtual reality in 2021, thanks to numerous graphics processing power and cloud computing breakthroughs. Sandbox games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Dark Souls, Grand Theft Auto V, and MMORPGs like Black Desert Online and The Elder Scrolls Online have already established complex and immersive universes.

The Metaverse is a networked virtual environment or universe where people can create new avatars, interact with friends from all over the world, and explore possibilities limited only by their imagination. These virtual worlds are likely to become a distinct aspect of the collective human psyche.

Hollywood is passe

For nearly a century, Hollywood has been a global cultural phenomenon. Hollywood’s and mainstream cinema’s prominence has declined after 2020. On Netflix, more individuals are watching international films from other cultures. In 2021, new media platforms such as Instagram, Twitch, and YouTube will have democratised content creation. 

A new digital panorama

The introduction of 5G and the internet of things will aid in bridging the digital gap. The disparities of the real world, on the other hand, will pervade the virtual world. In 2021, 63% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty, down from 50% in the 1950s and below 10% in 2015. This is equally true in the areas of public health and literacy.

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