Life in 2025: The Social

Editor’s note: This is the fifth post in Mikael Ericsson Björling’s series on understanding emerging lifestyles in the Networked Society. Links to the previous posts follow below.

In 2025’s Networked Society, the Social are empowered and have momentum in society but do not belong to a traditional labor market. They have either chosen to leave or been forced out of the traditional labor market, because of the structural changes in society, and have instead taken matters into their own hands. Accordingly, they are removed from institutionalized systems but they have also deliberately chosen to “escape the market” because they no longer believe in the traditional industrial system (because it hasn’t been able to provide for them). As they are stepping out of the system and escape the market, they are promoting an alternative economic system.

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Some of them move from traditional forms of work to focusing a majority of their time and effort in the categories they are passionate about. They become more and more involved in these categories, until a point where they start to add productive value to their consumption. This can be done in different ways. When a person becomes extremely knowledgeable about a category that she is interested in, she rises above the market, making other consumers and companies extra interested in the person’s opinions and ready to reward the person as an expert, communicating her opinions in various social media outlets or entering into more formalized co-creation with commercial providers. As a result of this, some people make their passion their occupation. This can be done by making their names in various forms of social media, making money through fashion blogging, news writing, video game reviews and other pursuits. Or, they may start up small alternative businesses, focusing on handicraft, craftsmanship, or sustainable ecological products, and eventually turn their passion into their living.

The Social:

  • operate outside the traditional labor market
  • focus on their passions
  • disrupt the traditional ways
  • are empowered by and dependent on their own community
  • take collaborative initiatives
  • form alternative networks.

Explore more about The Social here.

 

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Written by Mikael Eriksson Björling

Mikael is Senior Lead Designer at Ericsson UX Lab and an Ericsson Evangelist. He was previously Director at the Networked Society Lab. His specialty is in understanding how consumer behavior, emerging technologies and new industry logics are shaping the future society and in the intersection of these areas build great user experiences. Mikael believes that with the ongoing digital transformation we have a great opportunity to shape a better world. Mikael joined Ericsson in 1998 and is based in Stockholm. You can engage with him on Twitter at: @mikaeleb or at LinkedIn.

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