Future Shock Revisited

Barry L. Jackson

Abstract


In 1970, Alvin Toffler wrote his ground breaking and alarming book warning of the psychological shock people face as technologies were developing at a pace faster than ever before. He predicted the technical evolution would cause major disruption in society and values. It would force worker dislocation, generational conflicts and moral and ethical challenges. The time period of which Toffler wrote is now often referred to as the Third Industrial Revolution. Today we are witnessing yet another Industrial Revolution in the Western and Developed nations.  Innovations in instant communications, quantum computing, nanotechnologies, bioengineering, three-dimensional printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, etc. are already reshaping the world. These advances in science are redistributing resources and wealth, changing the methods of manufacturing of goods, altering the delivery systems of consumer and human services, and challenging the very notion of what or who is “alive” as robots become more human-like, and displace millions of workers whose livelihood depends on jobs which will be lost to robots and three-dimensional printing.  The social and psychological impacts of these exponentially increasing changes are “Future Shock” on a much larger scale perhaps than ever before experienced. Traditional ethics, morals, religions and social interactions, even politics and national boundaries are strained by mass migration as people seek safety and new economic opportunity in technologically advanced nations.  Psychologists, counsellors, social workers, social engineers, philosophers and politicians need to act now as the future has already forced the presence’s door open to this latest revolution.

Keywords


Industrial Revolution; Future Shock; Change; Psychological Response to Change: Impact of Technology on jobs, morals, social interaction.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18662/po/84

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