Key4hope

Social Change by 2061

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What If We Plan Our Future?
 Chapter 10

 SOCIAL CHANGE IN THIS CENTURY

A NEW DEFINITION OF FAMILY

Most of us agree that great technical change is in store for us during the upcoming decades. In response to these technological and scientific advancements, we will also witness tremendous social change. And these changes will ROCK us right down to the nuclear family. We can expect the following changes during the first half of this Century:

THE 5-YEAR MARRIAGE CONTRACT

Prediction No. 52: Due to increases in longevity, many couples will choose marriage contracts with time limits.

2080

One of the great social changes in the mid-21st Century will be the 5-year marriage. As people live longer and longer -- perhaps up to 150 years -- it will become unreasonable for many to expect to get married at the age of 25 and remain married for 125 years. Consequently, by 2080 some marriage contracts will have a time limit -- say 5, 7 or 10 years. 

"Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband until death or 5 years do you part?” Artwork by Alessandra Andrisani

If both partners want to renew the contract, then they can do so. But it will be sad times for some when a 5-year marriage contract expires and one wants to renew and the other doesn't.

The 5-year marriage will, however, encounter problems with raising children and will be condemned by religious organizations. There will be tens of millions of couples in the 21st Century who choose marriage the old fashioned way: “’til death do we part.”

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CENTURION MARRIES 20-SOMETHING

Prediction No. 53: Huge age gaps will exist in some late 21st Century marriages.
2099
As people live longer but still look young, occasionally an 80-year-old woman who has had a face transplant (and the rest of her skin "revitalized") will arrange a 5-year marriage contract with a 25-year-old male or vice versa -- with the younger partner enjoying learning about life from the more seasoned veteran.

Either late this century or early in the 22nd Century, the first 100 year age different will occur when Dexter, aged 121 but looking 21, marries 21-year-old Audrey. They'll honeymoon on the moon on a moonless night.

THE SUPER EXTENDED FAMILY

7 GENERATIONS LIVING AT ONCE

Prediction No. 54: As society progresses, we will witness the Super Extended Family with as many as 7 generations alive at one time, thanks to The Phoenix Condition.

So, as generations remain on this planet (instead of dying off), there will be a feeling within this society that the Nuclear Family (currently just the parents - sometimes one parent - and the kids) won’t be the social norm anymore. There will be a desire for these generations to bond - to bridge the Generation Gap. 3xGreats and 4xGreats (who will look young because of age disguising) will comfortably reach out to help the "babies" in their "Line of Succession" - anywhere from talking about the good old days (when cars didn't fly), helping with homework, and general life planning (after all, they have the experience). 

Because people will live to 150 years and beyond the 22nd Century, it will be possible for 7 Generations of one family to be living at the same time. Artwork by Alessandra Andrisani
2149
Eventually, by the late 22nd Century, it will be the goal of most Super Extended Families to live in the same apartment complex (preferably the same floor). These buildings, many of which will extend 30 to 50 floors below ground, will provide shopping complexes, schools, businesses and recreation centers so people can shop, learn, work and play in the very same building they live in. And this will lead to the Super Extended Family becoming closer.

RECOGNIZING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF HAVING KIDS

Prediction No. 55: Society will come to embrace the true value of children.

To further raise our level of civilization, a national attitude will take shape in the early 21st Century that asks couples to wait until they have completed college before having their first child. Obviously better educated parents are in a better position to raise a healthy child. Couples without a college education will still have the right to have children, but this attitude is to encourage all to try to complete college prior to raising kids. Obviously, children with highly educated parents are more likely to embrace education themselves. Fortunately, thanks to advancements in education, the quest for knowledge will become a basic right for all Americans by 2030.
2030

Unfortunately, it seems that too many children are accidents. Imagine how much better off our country would be if all potential moms and dads planned and cared for their children until their kids completed college.

MEMORY REVERSAL

Prediction No. 56: One of the most helpful advancements in the mid-21st Century will be memory reversal.

Individuals who are victimized by a horrible attack, or cannot get over the breakup of a relationship, or want to forget the negative experience of being fired, etc. can have that portion of their memory zapped out of their brain. By 2070, doctors will be able to pin point memories and erase the bad ones.
2070
As improvements in this arena occur with each generation, it will eventually become routine for most people to have memories altered - anywhere from zapping out the memory of an insult to forgetting you EVEN had that ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend. Some people will have positive memories inserted into their minds - like that week in Hawaii (although you really couldn't afford to go). By 2099, some people will have their memories altered once a week - even once a day. And Memory Reversal will be hailed as one of the most significant achievements of this Century.


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