What will the third generation be amazed at?

This is the continuing series of questions for you in the comments, here’s how it works. I’ll ask you a question, and you either answer in the comments or on your own blog and drop a link to the post.


What will the third generation be amazed at?

In an article the other day, I suddenly found myself remembering being amazed to discover that my great aunt hadn’t had electricity in her house when she was a child. I was thinking that people will be amazed that the pubs used to close at eleven. But what else will our grandchildren’s generation be amazed by? (or if you aren’t planning to have kids, then your friends grandchildren’s generation.*)

Here’s my answer:

The obvious one is the Internet and mobile communication. That you can now be contacted wherever you are and that you can instantly contact everyone. The communications revolution that happened over the last fifteen years is probably the big one.

* if neither your friends nor you are planning to have children, then imagine that you have a friend who is having children, and these children have children. These are the people I want you to think of.

So what do you think the third generation be amazed at?

10 thoughts on “What will the third generation be amazed at?

  1. fourstar says:

    One would like to think they will look back utterly aghast that we still had war, famine and disease in the world.

    But it is more likely to be hover boots.

  2. Journeyer says:

    What would they be amazed at?

    That we lived in a world without… the iPod (and iTunes by extension).

    Even now, we ourselves take it for granted. But 20 years ago, the concept of buying MP3s online and having thousands of songs in your pocket was a dream at best.

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  4. Janna says:

    I think that they would be amazed that everything was not available on demand, that there was a concept of waiting.

    For example if you missed seeing a film at the cinema you would have to wait for it to be shown on TV x years later before you could see it again.

    It’s the same with shops & banks etc. Things like half day closing and nothing being open on Sundays

  5. fourstar says:

    @Janna: Surely that’s what /our/ generation should be amazed at?

    Currently, we can – pretty much – download media on demand, buy anything we like and do our banking, all over the internet.

    Our children’s children will take that as a given (my daughter, Freyja, was 4 in December & totally gets the concept of streaming her favourite cBeebies shows to the “puter” – in fact, she gets mildly annoyed when what is on the TV is not what she was hoping for…)

    Scary, eh?

  6. @fourstar I perhaps wasn’t clear but I think Janna has this bang on… What I’m thinking are the things that have happened already that the next set of generations won’t believe when they look back. The pubs closing was the other one that spurred this on.

  7. fourstar says:

    Oh, right.

    I thought you meant things that we are just discovering (always on wireless connectivity, for example) that they will completely take for granted (like you and your great aunt’s electricity).

    I’ll be over there in the pointy hat.

  8. @fourstar Well both then I meant… Yours and Janna’s 🙂

  9. Christine says:

    I don’t know of a specific thing, but I would love for someone of the next generation to genuinely be able to say: “You mean you have to use your hands? That’s like a baby’s toy.”

  10. I think it’s got to be what you mention: communications. They won’t believe that we had to remember phone numbers, that each house only had one phone, and no internet, or that we used to save up coins to use a phonebox. Or that the internet was for ‘geeks’ rather than just ‘how we now live’.

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