The worry is that the zeitgeist upon which so many social media-based communities are predicated exists almost exclusively online.
The experience of the disconnect is similar to a person watching, alone or maybe with one other, and from the comfort of their living room, a live concert and broadcast meant to unite people around the country during some crisis, only to step outside and look around and not find any of these people to whom they were supposedly united a moment ago, with whom they participated in a so-called national or even global event, like Queen Elizabeth II giving a speech during the Coronavirus lockdown.
What they discover instead, in the moment after the televised event, is that what took place was an illusion of unity; a unity which can really only be found again once the television is flipped back on, and they are once more alone, on their sofa.
This sensation is the motivation for the natural or physical realm, in the digital age, slowly becoming a landscape one only strives to move through efficiently—and, sure, even in an eco-friendly way—so long as they don’t have to exist long in the nebulous space which will continue to exist between the destinations of the digital and information era—digital destinations, understood as such, because they are born and start trending exclusively in the digital space. They will still be capitalized upon with events that take place in the physical world, but only so long as all the dimensions of experience cannot be replicated online, with less overhead cost. However, even with this lag in technology, these are still a new type of event, even though they take place in the old world, because they were not inspired by, but are rather very much removed from, what was once known as a local community.
Eventually, the landscape between digital destinations will once again be greener and cleaner than it was when it was humanity’s main hub for community. It will be reclaimed by nature in all its brutal necessity, as intelligent life moves elsewhere, seeking what can reflect back its self conception: such reflection which the internet is becoming.