We are headed towards a world in which “offline” doesn’t exist.
In a blog post introducing Mozilla’s 2010 financial reports – Mozilla is the nonprofit behind the Firefox browser – Chair Mitchell Baker shared these words:
Internet life is changing. We are connecting through more devices. We are living in apps as well as browsers. We are interacting with friends and followers and acquaintances. We can experience the Web through a highly personal, highly customized lens.
The challenges ahead of us are very real. Mobile platforms are more closed and more centralized than we have seen in decades. As individuals, we are losing the ability to act on the Web without permission from large, centralized gatekeepers. We are all being tracked, logged, cataloged, monetized and turned into products to be sold. We’re seeing the universal platform of the Web fragmenting back into multiple different worlds.
Her point, of course, is that Mozilla is open, making it an excellent alternative to so many closed platforms and interfaces.
I want to emphasize the “tracked, logged, catalogued…” part. Yes, this is happening. It will get far worse as the Physical Web rises, and the whole concept of “offline” disappears.
Let me say that again: soon, there will be no such thing as offline.
When you make decisions about which companies you support, how you manage your personal data, and what you reveal online, please bear in mind that we are headed towards a world in which offline doesn’t exist.