Redditors over 40 were recently asked what they imagined the future would be like when they were growing up.
Many believed society would be much further along by now, especially fans of science fiction such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Jetsons.”
“When ‘Back to the Future 2’ came out, it seemed like a pretty reasonable (if optimistic) view of the future. I did figure we’d have flying cars by now, and fusion power. I also figured the whole pill food thing would be in place,” wrote pdxsean.
“I genuinely thought we’d have hoverboards and jetpacks. The former as a toy, the latter as a mode of transportation,” wrote poothollow.
“I believed the Jetsons lifestyle was far fetched within my lifetime, but I thought space exploration would be much further along by now, and there would be much more robotic technology in the home (and not just small vacuums), along with advanced AIs to control them,” wrote Subject_Beef. “Self driving cars, if not flying ones, were supposed to be commonplace. And synthetic/artificially grown organs to replace any major organs for when they fail or get damaged. Basically, I thought we’d have more leisure time, less work/stress, and better quality of life because of technology, rather than the hectic lives that technology has helped to create.”
“If you look back now on something like ‘Space: 1999,’ it not only looks cheesy and dated (which it is), but also ludicrous. But it was not a ludicrous idea at the time. In fact, it seemed inevitable. How could we not have a manned base on the Moon a quarter century from now?” wrote sylban. “My vision of the future in my youth was nowhere near as gritty as the world I live in now.”
“I thought we would have cured most major diseases by now … I figured cancer, heart disease, MS etc. would be curable,” TooManyCthulhus wrote.
“I expected way more progress in nearly all areas. Cures for every illness, flying cars, brain implants instead of computers, some sort of international union of mankind with the same laws for everyone … Bit of a disappointment, really. I blame ‘Star Trek,'” wrote Sparxl.
“For me, 20 years ago I didn’t think ‘1984’ and ‘Brave New World’ were so prescient, they seemed like extremist hyperbole, or scifi cautionary tales,” wrote cookiecombs. “But here we are with domestic wiretapping, big data profiling, internet browsing censored, and (BNW) designer babies and ambien/booze/riddlin/everything drugs to make you forget about reality and inequality, ghettos (urban and rural).”
“Just turned 60. ‘The year 2000’ was always the benchmark of the future when I was kid. By the year 2000 we were going to have space stations, moon bases, undersea cities, personal submarines, hovercars, jetpacks, routine space travel, video phones, moving sidewalks, humanoid robot servants, cures for cancer and all kinds of other diseases … We have a few of those things I guess, but the future sure isn’t what it used to be,” wrote another_old_fart.
Some who grew up during the Cold War are happy that things turned out so well.
“I am 52, due to the cold war I honestly did not believe there was going to be a future,” wrote nineyearstime.
“It’s one thing being afraid of some guy blowing himself up, or of crashing a plane into a building, its another thing to be afraid of nuclear holocaust and the end of human civilisation,” wrote doobledoo973.
“46 here I have to agree in the 70’s and 80’s things were pretty bleak. Crime was growing every year I remember they would announce the murder count every year and every year it was higher. It looked the 90’s would be a cesspool of violence. On top of that it looked like we would all die in a nuclear Armageddon… This is one thing I don’t think young people understand… We all though at any moment all of humanity would be wiped out,” karmakazi_ wrote. “So the fact that I’m alive and have a house and a kid was something I never expected. … The Internet is awesome and unexpected. Flying cars are a terrible idea if you think about it. I just wish we where further along in space exploration.”
“I would have expected society to crumble, riots broiling everywhere. Burned out wrecks of houses, litter everywhere, gangs running riot (with me in one) destroying and ripping apart society. That or nuclear war, a threat that hung over my head (and everyone’s every day),” wrote Paratwa.
“I also expected nuclear war at some point, and am glad we haven’t had one yet,” wrote macharomancy, who also warned: “The idea of having to fight over water and arable land in my lifetime is as scary as nuclear war could be.”
Others can hardly believe how good we have it.
“The greatest generation, our grand parents were thought to have seen all of the techno like advances. Flight, space travel, cars, factories and high production farming. We didn’t think much about computers much less one or more in every home,” wrote jrannis.
“I’m pretty amazed that we’re as far as we are with gay marriage, a black president, self driving cars and weed laws. Things are changing pretty fast and pretty positively in some ways,” wrote bil3777.
“The one piece that I never imagined is Google. We call Google a ‘search engine,’ but if you had shown Google to young me, it would have seemed like artificial intelligence, because it works so much better than I could have imagined,” wrote an unidentified user. “We used to have to work to get answers to our questions. Now we just open the tap. “
“Mobile phones, personal computers, the Internet!” wrote PendragonUK. “Lettuce and tomatoes all year round, OMG you can walk in to a shop and find fresh apples for sale out of season. Chicken is now a cheap meat, the whole concept of ‘cheap meat’ Chicken was something the family sat down to on Sunday once a month. Clothes, clothes are so cheap they are almost disposable.”
“WE LIVE IN AN AGE OF F—— WONDER. That I couldn’t even dream of being in as a child. This is so much better than I thought it would be,” wrote Paratwa.
“It’s great to be alive in 2014,” wrote Jackpot777. “Can’t wait to see what the rest of the future holds…
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