Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Future {Writing Tuesdays}

One hundred years ago, authors and other storytellers thought we'd have flying cars and apartments on Mars by now. How do you think the world will look 100 years from now? How long might it take for the future to really look like "the future" and why? 

I remember reading a ‘horrible histories’ book as a child all about the twentieth century. It went through the decades, summarising what had happened in each one. When it reached the millennium, it had some great illustrations of us all walking around in fridge suits because it was so warm, and being transported by jet packs and driverless cars. The Millenium was a BIG THING and we looked forward to it with excitement. Weird to think that now I work with young people who think I’m ‘well old!’ because my date of birth has a 19 in it!

The thing about the present is that it’s always just that: the present. I think our lives are more futuristic than we realise. In work we’ve made the move to “agile working,” a phrase that strikes dismay in the heart of anyone familiar with the practice of it. But in spite of all the glitches and my heavy laptop bag, the truth is that I can access a massive, highly secure system from pretty much anywhere I like. We don’t quite have iris recognition but we have clever card readers and ever-changing codes and snazzy little ultra-books.

It was a massive novelty when I sat my driving theory test 12 years ago and it was carried out using touch-screen computers. Like, genuinely exciting. Now almost everybody has a tiny touchscreen computer that is diminutively known as a ‘phone’, and certainly I’d bet that every child in this country has used one by the time they are 10 if not long before.

At work I use computers that can be operated entirely by a user’s eyes. These can be programmed to operate a whole host of other assistive technologies to open doors and curtains, to turn on lights and change the channel on TV. All by using your eyes.

Admittedly, the year of the hoverboard hasn’t quite materialised as Back to the Future promised, and we haven’t worked out how to make sure driverless cars are safe yet. But if you ask me, we are already living in pretty futuristic times!

What do you think? Are you disappointed with what the decades have brought or do you think we are already ‘futuristic’? What do you think will be the next big invention to change the way we live our lives?

“Writing Tuesdays” is the somewhat non-poetic name for a challenge I’ve set myself (and you, if you will join me) to try and write more creatively, on a wider range of topics than the ones I would usually choose. The prompts are taken from “1000 creative writing prompts” by Bryan Cohen. I write every Tuesday (next time is 31st March) and would love you to join me! The themes are moving on to times of the day, so this prompt is about the morning:

When you have a free morning, how do you take advantage of this time? How does this kind of morning differ from a morning filled with important things to do and why?

I look forward to reading your thoughts!


  1. I have only just found your blog via Jo's GG post... and I am so pleased to have found you.
    I love this post.... I have so often thought (and talked about) what my both Grandmothers had seen in their 95 and 97 years (they have both passed away over the last couple years)... the changes that have come even in the 50 years I have been on this planet! I started learning to type on a manual typewriter and I still remember the excitement of getting an electric typewriter - then we moved on to a computer terminal and finally a PC, and now I have a small laptop at work that probably doesn't have the firepower that my iPad or phone has!!
    I also remember being at school aged about 7 and being asked about the year 2000 and how old we would be - 36 in my case.... we had to list all the things we thought about that year and my vivid memory is of all the boys thinking we would have flying cars and how we all thought we might be living on the moon or at least going to other planets by then....
    As for the next invention... I am sure that whatever I can think has already been invented!!!
    I will try and join you in the Tuesday posts... I think that they are a great idea
    Hugs xx

  2. Thanks! I will look forward to reading your posts :-) It is amazing how much has changed and yet how much still hasn't been invented (do you think we'll ever have flying cars?!) xx

  3. Finally got round to my Future post! Next I will come back and read your's properly. I didn't want to be influenced by what you wrote!

  4. Gosh, we did touch on many of the same things! I remember the Millennium Bug worries very well. I worked in insurance and we had all sorts of plans in place in case the entire system crashed in 2000. Our systems had been written very early on and had all sorts of patches and bolt on parts added over thirty years so we really had no idea what would happen. There was a "contact tree" with every person on it in the order they would be informed and called it to work! Not sure how I would have got in as the trains don't run on New Years Day even without a Millennium Bug!