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!