What does the future hold for our next generation?
With the constant shifts in our society, it can be difficult to predict what the future may look like. It is almost impossible to prophecise what will happen in the next few weeks, let alone for the next generation. Despite the fact that we cannot accurately determine what the future will hold, we can predict some things that could affect our next generation.
The rise of technology and automation
The generation before ours did not grow up with mobile phones. The generation after ours could be completely dependent on technology for everything in their day to day lives. The rise of technological personal assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Home reinforce the fact that even our current generation are adapted to this technology. Even our McDonald’s orders often no longer involve much human interaction.
This automation suggests that there will also be a decrease in low-skilled jobs, where machines could be cheaper long-term employees. Factory workers, fast food employees and even teachers could risk redundancy through this automation. This fear of machines having this power reinforces the importance of soft skills, which can help us get more secure jobs and encourage the next generation to do the same.
A wider income gap
The rising house prices, costs of living and increasing number of “necessities” in life, there will be a wider income disparity. Even though some bubbles will burst (some predict the London house prices will suddenly stop skyrocketing), the differences in incomes could very easily grow. Worldwide poverty could become more significant, and with that, it is imperative that we take the opportunity now to learn outside of our classrooms to make ourselves more well-rounded and competitive.
Developing passions outside of the classroom can spark interests in career paths and roles that might not have been accessible before, making the idea of work more fun for all. For example, the rise of free online courses means that we can learn about topics that schools might not be able to teach. Sites like edX and Coursera teach university level courses for free on countless issues ranging from happiness and fulfillment to machine learning.
The information learnt now can create lifelong fulfilment and values, whilst also developing better career prospects for ourselves in the future. These values, in turn, can be passed onto the next generation to make them a force for change in these income inequalities, whilst simultaneously encouraging them to learn new things to develop a wide range of interests.
Whilst it is impossible to predict exactly what the future will hold for the next generation, there is one thing that is guaranteed. Our actions and behaviour will directly affect our next generation. Whether it be something on a grand scale, such as our voting behaviour, or something much smaller like what we eat on a daily basis, everything we do will have a long-term impact on the future of our society. This means that we have to ensure that everything we do will positively benefit not only those around us, but also those of the future. To quote Emile Durkheim, “Each new generation is reared by its predecessor; the latter must therefore improve in order to improve its successor. The movement is circular.”