The 2010s are defined by our total absorption into the digital. Engaging online quickly became a necessary part of being a person. “As more people began to register their existence digitally, a past time turned into an imperative: you have to register digitally to exist,” journalist Jia Tolentino writes. With that, she said, came the commodification of self, which keeps us endlessly tethered to the web, either as a means of self-promotion or as a way of feeding the human compulsion to connect. As we’ve remained here, our internet selves have grown more robust.
While the buzz around 5G is often focused on smartphones (and the technology’s promise of lag-free gaming and streaming), the cellular technology stands to hypercharge industries far beyond entertainment. With its high bandwidth, low latency (i.e., the ability to transfer lots of data with minimal delay), and high reliability, 5G is faster and more dependable than 4G, and so robust that it can replace wired connections—bringing everything from factory robots to fleets of autonomous vehicles online. Also poised for big change is agriculture.