by Peter Eder
In our unending and ever accelerating pace of societal change, it might be productive to reflect on what will not be here in fifteen short years. Looking into our crystal balls might just help us prepare to cope with changing aspects of our society. Here are some observations.
“Full time employees” will be as extinct as “telephone switchboard operators”, and the Social Contract, no longer applying to employee / employer relationships, will only be found in the writings of Rousseau.
United States currency will have value only to Numismatists, as a global currency replacing dollars, yuans, reals and rupees will be in increasingly electronic usage. And that currency will be paperless and coinless. In a visit to China last year, it was somewhat surprising to discover that in Beijing, coins are no longer used. All expenses are rounded up or down to the nearest paper yuan.
Un-earmarked charitable donations will have been replaced by the omnipresent cause-related giving permeated as a marketing and public relations strategy, and as the wealthy lay claim to their own branded intent to stamp out specific illnesses or perceived social injustices.
Genders will be non-existent in civil law, in fashion, fragrance … and everyday life. Labels like Mr., Mrs., and Ms. are already being replaced by Mx.
Individual privacy will have disappeared caused by individual indifference, data clouds, drones, face recognition and surveillance-everywhere cameras, and corporate and governmental manipulations of regulations.
Public place quiet will have also disappeared, thanks to ubiquitous and intrusive electronic gadgets, visual and audio advertising everywhere, and ego driven social manners.
A balkanized internet will have replaced the World Wide Web, as the war over ownership and manipulation of all forms of communications becomes an attractive replacement, or at least a supplement to, “conventional” warfare.
Brick and mortar general public libraries will have gone the way of most houses of worship, as we move into the Paper-less Books and Godless Society. The Divine Being worship vacuum will be partially filled by zealots preaching over electronic outlets. A substantial number of church structures will be converted into museums, or studio sets for those wishing “traditional” marriage photos.
What is in your crystal ball?
Peter F. Eder is a retired marketing executive, AARP Connecticut community volunteer and a founding board member of At Home In Darien, his community aging-in-place organization. Throughout his career, he has been involved with local and national organizations within the communications arena and in responding to acute needs of people in our communities.
PERSPECTIVE commentaries by contributing writers from across the state appear each Sunday on Connecticut by the Numbers.