“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” said one of the main characters of the US series comedy series “Portlandia”. Candace’s words were a great synthesis of the attitudes of many people of the 2010s, especially of younger people and predicted in a way the tide of “awareness” that is happening in the world. Today, mostly in the Western world, with the US as the leading country, but also in other parts of the world, people are very much invested in being “woke” or awake.  It is very interesting how this awareness is defined in two opposing ways. In many regards, both sides feel that they hold the truth and that they need to enlighten others (but not mandatory) and make sure to take the correct action. This has always been the case in the world, where opposite views battle. It is literally something that is embedded in our genes, but that is a discussion for another time.

Today’s world, however, is seeing a generation of people under 35 that is highly engaged politically and socially. Whether they’re fighting for nationalism, socialism, feminism or any other –ism, people around the world feel that they must take a stance.

 

It’s definitely a thought-provoking endeavor to ponder on how this awareness will change and evolve in the future. Today, we are seeing a somewhat of a fragmentation of positions people have. It’s almost like it’s a fractal geometry that keeps creating, breaking and recreating. What cases this is basically the rupture of certain people from a group only to form another group, which, when it grows, breaks again. It is said that “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.” Now, moving towards 2018, we are definitely in the fourth stage.

Looking at children today, we can see that they are concerned very much only with themselves and, more than anything, with instant gratification. While the people who today are in their 20s or 30s, basically kids of the 1990s or around that era, they were taught that sometimes you have to wait for things to come. Basically, if you wanted to see a movie in the cinema, you had to wait until it came to your town’s theater or until you could buy or rent it on cassette. If you missed a TV episode, you had to wait until the rerun and so on. Information was also not immediately available. What happened today was processed and came out in the magazines of next week or even next month. Now, it’s all out not even in a matter of minutes, but live. The kids of today have almost no sense of waiting or of development. Obviously, these are broad generalizations and there are exceptions.  Basically, they will grow up knowing that everything they can get in a matter of minutes, they will. Today’s climate of so-called “fake news”, “alternative facts” and so on will also create generations that won’t trust anything. And when you can’t trust or believe in anything, it all goes out the window. It is also possible that we will see tremendous conflict in the future, which will be something many of the youngsters will reject. Thus, in 10 or 20 years from today, we are most likely to see a rebirth of a hippie generation, but a very mellowed hippy generation. These people will have their iPhones delivered by drones to their window, will they care about anything?

What might happen is an impressive increase in the sex workers industry, even though a lot of it could be underground. As these generations will grow, it won’t make much sense to them to wait. They will either need instant sexual gratification anytime they want it or they will develop the much awaited sex robots.

With the possibility of a universal basic income, where people get money no matter what, the only concern people will have will be to maintain the structure that offers them that money.

 

Of course, we can’t really know what will happen. However, generally speaking, in my opinion, looking at today’s youth culture gives one a glimpse of what society will be tomorrow. The example I always like to give is that of the hippies. While the hippie generation can be blamed for some bad things, we can’t help but notice that those people were the generation who was obsessed with peace. Surprisingly, they are the only generation we know of who lived in almost half a century, meaning almost the entire generation’s average life span in peace.

Today, young people seem to be all caught up in their own vortexes.

One song I find very interesting, which has some great lyrics that illustrate what young people seed for those who follow them is Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm”, where we can hear:

“Dance, dance, dance to the distortion

Turn it up, keep it on repeat

Stumblin’ around like a wasted zombie

Yeah, we think we’re free

Drink, this one’s on me

We’re all chained to the rhythm

To the rhythm, to the rhythm”.

 

In the 2009 song “The Pursuit of Happiness”, Kid Cudi also has some lyrics that describe the lethargic state of today’s youth culture:

“You don’t really know about nothing, nothing

Tell me what you know about them night terrors every night

5 AM, cold sweats, waking up to the sky?

 

You don’t really care about the trials of tomorrow

Rather lay awake in the bed full of sorrow”.

One of the biggest trends in the future of the West at least will be the continuation of lowering standards, creating niches based on complexes and developing worlds around things we don’t want or like. Of course, this is not going to be everyone’s lifestyle, but it’s very likely that this will be the mainstream. In the end, everything will be blurred or unspecific, body- and shapeless.

Perhaps in 200 years from now – give or take, people will chose as their anthem an old visionary English song that described the future – “Imagine” is the title of the song.

“Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”

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