Nobody knows the future, of course, but it’s always fun to guess at it. So let’s make some guesses, shall we?
- Computer algorithms and targeted advertising have gotten so sophisticated that people are only ever exposed to things they already know they like. This has the paradoxical effect of making it more difficult than ever to find clothes, music, plays, friends, jobs, events, and news that don’t fit into your own self-described list of preferences. As convenience increases, the ability to adventure outside of your comfort zone decreases – and eventually, the need for adventure decreases as well.
- 3-D technology and holographic displays aren’t perfect, but they’ll still amazing, and computer programmers will have created everything from a virtual Tour de France to extraterrestrial expeditions to alternate universes that feel so real it’s almost frightening. An odd consequence of this is a severe reduction in travel. After all, why bother visiting Venice when you can do it at the local holobooth for a twentieth of the cost?
- Societies everywhere are significantly more liberal than they are today. By this point, multiple generations of people will have grown up being exposed to dozens of different ways of living, loving, working and marrying, and such exposure has always led to more tolerance.
- The overwhelming number of jobs are service-oriented – tourism and hospitality, maintaining machinery and infrastructure – and a smaller number of people in creative and other non-computerizable fields. As today, any job that can be replaced by a computer or a robot will be.
- Videos of people falling down and/or hitting themselves in the crotch are still considered hilarious. It’s difficult to imagine that ever changing.
- Almost everyone has a 3-D printer in their home, but it is used primarily for printing replacement parts to common household objects.
- Water rationing has been common for so long that nobody knows any other way of doing things. Large suburban lawns are a relic from an earlier time, and golf courses look different than they do today.
- English is the dominant language on the planet, having beaten Chinese because it is a simpler language to type. Many languages that exist today will be disappearing or extinct 100 years from now.
- Reality television will have had 100 years to get even dumber than it currently is. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but shows such as The Tulip Punchers of Beverly Hills are not impossible to imagine, which (duh) is about people who go around punching tulips and then complaining about how their tulip-punching lifestyle is unfulfilling.
And that’s what I’ve got, for now at least. Does any of this sound like it might be true? Let me know what you think!