As part of his block of lectures What is the Future?Dr Richard Tutton invited first year students taking Sociology 101 to imagine what their world would be like in the year 2050 in just 500 words. Below are a selection of some of the pieces they wrote. In them you will see a mix of optimism and pessimism about what the future holds for us in this century; expectations of new technologies especially in the arena of automation, hopes that current social prejudices will disappear, but fears too about the effect of climate change and continuing social inequalities.
Do you agree with these imaginings of the future? How do you see the future?
Worn-out clichés like flying cars or time-machines are not how I imagine the year 2050 will be like. I imagine it will be a time where we rely on technology without the fear of it consuming us. Although almost everyone owns some kind of electronics nowadays, there are worries about how social media is affecting us or how “anti-social” we have become.
By the age of 51, I imagine that the world will be very different to the way it is now; not only in terms of technological progression but also in relation to the way in which society functions. I believe that the world will be a far more accepting and tolerant place with difference and individuality at its core.
For me, the film Wall-E perfectly depicts what I believe to be an accurate representation of our future if we continue as we are. Surrounded by technology and equipment and with our increasing lack of environmental care and protection it wouldn’t surprise me to find aspects of this film coming to pass in the next 33 years.
Although many things will remain the same (flying cars won’t be a thing yet!) technology will advance so dramatically that our daily routines will be changed for ever. Considering how far we have come since the World Wide Web was launched in 1990 (27 years ago), it is quite reasonable to assume that the rate of invention will continue to gather momentum.
If we don’t have everything together in 2017, I very much doubt we’ll get it together by 2050. However, I’d like to think we’d be slightly closer to a prejudice free world – perhaps a little ambitious of me. That’s not to say that we haven’t come far in the last 100 years, but there is still a lot to learn.
In 2050 I will still be working at the age of 51, nowhere near retirement. I will be living with my family in a very urbanized area, as barely anyone lives outside of a city anymore & there are not many rural places left due to development from housing demand & increasing population.