J.G. Ballard’s Vision Of Social Media In 1977

Via Buzzfeed, in a 1977 essay in Vogue, the influential weirdo-futurist author predicted the existence of social media, in this spooky summation of where our lives seem to be headed:

jg ballard

4 Comments on "J.G. Ballard’s Vision Of Social Media In 1977"

  1. BuzzCoastin | Jun 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm |

    it’s kind of a rewording of 1960’s McLuhan
    but a pretty deep insight
    since McLuhan is still about 150 years away from being understood

  2. Noah_Nine | Jun 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm |

    i’ve always considered Ballard a sharp MFer… sounds like an accurate assessment to me….

  3. DrDavidKelly | Jul 1, 2013 at 3:29 am |

    Close … but no cigar.

  4. Alan Morse Davies | Jul 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm |

    If you think differently to the society you live in you’ll likely be branded a weirdo.

    Why is he labelled a weirdo-futurist? He was just a futurist, someone that speculates on the future. If the future isn’t weird then it’s hardly credible. Most of us couldn’t be transported and successfully live in the societies of our own countries 50 years ago I’d wager.

    There is a tendency in us to create tenuous links between our perceptions of the present and snippets of the past that seem prophetic.

    The problem here is that even that snippet is not wholly prophetic.

    That isn’t the social media we have because most social media is not about us, we quickly realised that most of our lives are dull and people don’t pay attention so we share the interesting media/lives/ideas of others who we think are more interesting than we are.

    In social media, we’re largely defined by the popularity of what we disseminate, not what we originate.

    Whilst he was on the right track, I think if Ballard could have travelled to our present, he would have found something much darker than he could have possibly imagined. The illusion of being part of an community that cares.

    This is the ultimate triumph and in my view downfall of Bertrand Russell’s redefinition of freedom after WWII in order to counter the Soviet Union. Individual consumption, we are what we buy (products or ideas). We live in a paper-thin world of the constant now.

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