17 Aug The Future: A Glimpse.
I’ve compiled a short list of social and cultural improvements that I hope to see happen in my lifetime—just little everyday things that add up to my current conception of “progress.” I know that these ideas may be just a little ahead of their time, but hey, I’m a dreamer.
Listening to Music.
Music will be played on stereo speakers so that it can be heard and enjoyed at an acceptably high level of quality. This practice will lead to regularly occurring communal listening parties (both spontaneous and planned) among friends and family, leading to the sharing and discovery of new music.
Phone Use, Part 1.
Telephones will be used to have conversations, primarily between 2 or more people who are not in close proximity but have something important to say to each other. Because of this shift in practice, phone conversations will no longer be used to tell someone that they “can’t talk right now”—rather, the person who cannot talk will simply not answer their phone.
Phone Use, Part 2.
Telephones will also cease to be used as a tool for micro-coordinating meetings. Consequently, people will stop using the phrase “I’ll be right there” to explain that they are anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes away, and stop calling people to ask, “Where are you?” when someone is between 5 seconds and 10 minutes late.
When someone asks what time it is, a small device worn on the wrist will serve as an almost instantaneous reference. This device could be called a “wrist clock” or a “wrist watch.” People will no longer have to waste time getting their smartphones out of their pockets or purses, pulling them out of their cases, and turning them on and/or unlocking them in order to accomplish this simple task.
Movement and Focus.
While operating any type of vehicle, people will look where they are going because 1) it helps us survive, and 2) it is the best way for us to stay informed of our immediate present and near-immediate future, creating a tremendous sense of place in the mind and body of the observer. This behavior will also be applied to walking.
The Cost of Communication.
Someone will give a TedX talk comparing the cost of paper, pen, envelopes, and stamps to the cost of a computer and monthly internet and smartphone service. This same presentation will also attempt to compare the experience of corresponding twice a month by mail to the experience of daily correspondence via email. The US Postal Service will be reborn in a matter of months. Profits at AT&T, Verizon, and Time Warner will fall, forcing them to lower the price of their services to amounts that reflect their true value.
Sellers will have two primary avenues to choose from when aiming to successfully market their products to consumers: 1) physical interaction between their products and prospective buyers in stores or elsewhere, and 2) word-of-mouth promotion by satisfied customers and/or resources that act as trusted filters. All other forms of promotion will be looked upon as ineffective white noise.
Text v. Texting.
The word “text” will revert to its original noun form. Overnight, thumbs will joyously return to their previous vocations—opposable gripping, displaying approval or disapproval, snapping, and hitchhiking.
Similarly, the word “app” will only be used to describe food ordered at Chili’s that arrives 15 to 20 minutes prior to your bacon cheeseburger.
Faces and Books.
People will spend more time with faces and books than Facebook.