Facebook Telepathy (Or, How You’ll Be Annoyed By Social Media In 50 Years)

By on June 20, 2016 // Inventions & Tech // 0 Comments

Social Media Telepathy
Image: Tim Sheerman-Chase/Flickr via CC by 2.0

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has a vision for the future – a day when people won’t just share posts, videos, and images on social networks, but also their sensory experiences, thoughts, and emotions, lifted directly from their brains.

As reported by The Daily Mail, Zuckerberg raised this curious possibility during a Facebook Q&A earlier this month, projecting that the technology may exist in as little as 50 years. Beaming thoughts and “raw emotions” to others will be as simple as pressing send, something he’s described as “the ultimate communication technology.”

Has Science Gone Too Far?

Zuckerberg also mentioned this during last year’s Q&A, so it’s clearly something he’s interested in. But how close are we, really?

Live Science shared a rundown of the actual science – between linked rat brains, mind-reading computers, and bizarre monkey “brainets,” we’ve made some progress. But as far as connecting brains and sharing emotions and memories with one another is concerned, we’re a ways off from anything like that.

There are also ethical issues. Not just, as Live Science mentions, the matter of human testing (apparently, plugging “hundreds of electrodes” into your brain isn’t good for your health). I can think of a few others.

If, one day, something like this were to become possible, I can only imagine the horror story that would follow.

Having other people’s thoughts and emotions entering your own mind? If you can feel what others feel, at what point do you begin to question which thoughts and emotions are your own, and which were put there? Social networks are already manipulated by marketing and political interests. Imagine that happening in your own head!

Well, however the technology evolves, the message is clear: If you think social media is annoying today, just wait until tomorrow.

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About the Author

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.