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It's over 20 years since I first went online...

(184 Posts)
HollowTalk Fri 18-Jan-19 21:01:49

I was just thinking how different life is now - then we still had five channels (just) and a dial up connection. We'd only just started using emails at work and mobile phones were huge and expensive to use. You got what was given as far as entertainment was concerned and you paid by cash or cheque for everything you bought.

What difference do you think another 20 or 30 years will make?

Kazzyhoward Wed 23-Jan-19 08:32:38

In the future I think I think there will be a backlash against the internet and people will go back to the old ways again.

The internet (or future developments of it) are definitely here to stay and there's a lot more revolution to come. It's so useful you can't "put it back in it's box" and return to the old ways.

But, alongside it, I think old skills will continue to grow in popularity but more of a hobby than for jobs/necessity. I was reading about a stationery business the other day that's effectively turned it's back on the business/school market and re-invented itself with writing for fun, i.e. fountain pens, diaries, journals, writing paper, drawing/painting supplies. There are also new shops opening up doing "crafts" such as a modern version of the old fashioned haberdashery shops, we have two new fishing tackle/fly shops, and old fashioned wooden toy shop, we even have a sewing machine shop. There are also new model-making shops opening up. The internet is enabling these, for two reasons, firstly as they're ALL also selling via online channels, and secondly because you-tube videos are now widespread showing people how to do these things, i.e. how to build and paint a model.

I foresee a future where the internet is at the heart of everything we do, but with it enabling us to do things we previously didn't have the ability to do, nor a ready supply of materials/tools needed that we now have at our fingertips.

Schools/education are another area that's barely been touched by the internet so far. Apps such as show my homework and random youtube videos is only the tip of the iceberg. My son is currently doing an online course - literally, there's no need for a teacher - I've seen it and it's really impressive - very well written with small chunks of text interwoven with videos and diagrams, and "end of session" practice and revision questions which prevent you from moving on to the next section until you get a high enough score (not just basic multiple choice questions either - it has a text reader so it can "mark" sentences and paragraphs of text!). Also it shows diagrams which you have to correctly label and you have to draw lines on graphs etc. If you don't score high enough, you have to re-do the section (it knows when you've finished watching a video - you can't just fast forward it!) and you get a different set of questions, so you can't just look up the answers to the ones you got wrong last time). Like I say, pretty impressive stuff. Expensive, but when that type of thing becomes mainstream, it will be easily affordable for the mass market. Has the potential to revolusionize education, certainly at secondary school level and beyond, maybe not so much at primary, but you never know what's around the corner.

MarcieBluebell Tue 22-Jan-19 14:47:44

In the future I think I think there will be a backlash against the internet and people will go back to the old ways again.

I wish but disagree. The kids of today want phones and are bought up on screens. For many even today work means you have to be connected to some degree.

I'm sure many people would like to live without the internet but have an idealised view. I lived without it and a phone for months and it was hard. Try it! Even my tele needs the internet. I don't however use social media.

sar302 Tue 22-Jan-19 13:51:38

Apparently "nano-Medicine" is going to be a big thing. Teeny tiny robots that can ferret away in your blood vessels and whatnot, and detect and cure things.
(Can you tell I'm not a doctor...?)

KisstheTeapot14 Tue 22-Jan-19 13:44:10

World wide AI may prove more efficient at making global decisions about food, economics and conflict.

Healthcare will stop asking people to travel 30 miles to sit in an office with a bored and patronising consultant. We will be skyping and more - sending samples and so on

Hover prams, for sure. Maybe even driverless ones. Robot Poppins?

OneStepMoreFun Tue 22-Jan-19 08:33:48

I predict:
privatised medical care
voluntary euthanasia
driverless cars (I hope)
agree with yorkshire mum about microchipped babies. Very likely.
shanty towns in the UK.

Kazzyhoward Tue 22-Jan-19 08:26:07

There's massive redundancy built into our system and even with massive failures at every level we'll probably sort it out right pronto, there's millions upon millions of very smart people in the world and if there was some serious systemic failure many of them would be directing their attention to fixing it.

You have a lot of faith. Sadly I don't.

We lived in an area badly affected by Storm Desmond. Our entire town had no mobile signal for 2 days and the landlines were dead too! We had no electricity for 4 days and when we had it, it was diesel generators on street corners for another week. Shops were closed. Cash machines were dead. Once the diesel generators were running, there were a few telephone kiosks in the city centre that were working - they all had long queues. People were stranded as they had no way of paying for taxis (public transport had stopped). That was only 3 years ago. It really brings it home to you how much we depend on electricity and mobile network and what really worried people was just how slow the "emergency" repair teams were to get things back on track.

Look at Grenfell Tower - fire brigade spend millions on computers, radios, communications systems, which were spectacularly not up to the job in hand. They ended up with "runners" running around with scraps of paper! Radios weren't powerful enough to cover just a few floors. Control unit staff spend ages trying to reboot computers which didn't work and try to get visual links from the police helicopters, again which didn't work.

No, we all need a "Plan B" for when technology fails us.

randomuserhere Tue 22-Jan-19 06:54:13

First thing I did online was use the old version of MSN! Ahhhh them days....

WhentheDealGoesDown Tue 22-Jan-19 06:50:05

I will be over 80...

I can well remember the internet speed being 256mb and being charged 1p per minute on dial up, some places still only get not much more than that speed so until that changes stuff can't move forward that much.

Shops will be more like viewing places with only one of each item to see what it looks like if you want and then you can make an online purchase, they are going a bit that way now.

Cars will change a lot but maybe not all driverless.

Amazon type places will be the way to shop

MissedTheBoatAgain Tue 22-Jan-19 05:34:57

Still arguing about Brexit is my best guess.

EastMidsGPs Mon 21-Jan-19 18:05:28

Can anyone remember LOVELY? Danny Wallace had a BBC show where he created a new country in his flat .... LOVELY. This 'country' had its own currency, rules (be nice) flag and forum. In the early days the forum really was a lovely gentle place to be but then it went the way of all forums and the BBC axed it.
Made some long lasting friendships from there including people in Australia, New Zealand and Derby!!
The odd thing was I was the last person who's ever think of going on line, chatting and shock horror joining a forum. No one else in our work or social circles did and i was thought of as odd. But, in retrospect it was one a great thing to be part of.

theyellowjumper Mon 21-Jan-19 16:26:02

My first computer was an Amstrad with green writing on a black background and dot matrix printer. I remember sending my first email in around 1995 and my mum complaining frequently about not being able to phone me because I was always using the dial up & had no mobile phone in those days.

Sadly I feel really pessimistic and worried about the next few decades. I think we're running out of time to avoid major disaster. Not just global warming but things like air quality, antibiotic resistance, mass extinctions, being able to grow enough crops to feed ourselves - even Michael Gove says we only have 30-40 years of soil fertility left in the UK.

I think the world is likely to become ever more unequal and unstable as countries compete for dwindling resources. Even if, against the odds, wealth does become more fairly shared, it will mean us (being a richer country) reducing our standard of living, because the world can't support it's entire population living at the standard of current western societies. So maybe resources we take for granted will become much more limited or rationed in some way - electricity, broadband, fuel, food, gadgets, clothing, etc.

I hope I'm wrong, but I worry a lot about what kind of world my children are going to living in when they are my age.

yomellamoHelly Mon 21-Jan-19 16:22:46

We had a second phone line installed in the first flat we owned just for the internet. Everything had to be plugged in to access it at that point. '94
Used to have shedloads of books, VHS tapes and CDs everywhere. All gone now. (Kindle / smart TV / spotify) Also boxes of photos. Again all on the cloud.
Holidays booked in an estate agent. Now we can do it from the sofa.
We used to have a file full of menus for takeaways. Now we get the same information online.
Yellow pages in case anything broke down and we had to find a tradesman.
So different now .....

MargoLovebutter Mon 21-Jan-19 16:15:55

The old skills and knowledge will be lost to future generations

Blimey, there are still flint tool makers, basket weavers, spinners of wool, calligraphers etc. Last time I looked, all of those old skills and knowledge had been replaced by more modern methods but people can still learn them - they just become artisan crafts!

Bloomcounty Mon 21-Jan-19 16:02:57

I feel old. My very first computer was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. The software was on cassette tape and it was slow and ponderous but mind blowing at the same time. I think I first used the internet at work in the early 90s. We used to have to go to the IT dept and log on there to send emails. I did have a pc to work on, but it wasn't connected, so off I trotted to another dept to email, and yet another to print (with my files on a floppy disk, ready to be put into the computer that was cable linked to the printer). Those days were fun - we spent a lot of time away from our desks!

DGRossetti Mon 21-Jan-19 15:51:28

There's massive redundancy built into our system and even with massive failures at every level we'll probably sort it out

I've often wondered how many times the same invention must have happened before it was able to spread and take hold ? I doubt the wheel was actually invented and spread in the same epoch ... it was probably invented many times over time before it spread to become universal.

Possibly the same for farming and the like ....

DGRossetti Mon 21-Jan-19 15:49:08

The old skills and knowledge will be lost to future generations.

So ?

Most of the posters here have managed without a whole slew of old skills and knowledge.

There's this chocolate-box picture we seem to have of "the old days" where everyone knew everything. My **. Even 200 years ago, most people hadn't a clue how to smelt iron (for example) , let alone build a forge and shoe a horse. I imagine there were commentators of the day bemoaning the passing of flint-knapping.

And there are skills and knowledge we lost long before the present technological age.

NopSlide Mon 21-Jan-19 15:48:56

The old skills and knowledge will be lost to future generations.

You mean the way we no longer have to grind our own wheat? "But what if the flour factories break down?"

There's massive redundancy built into our system and even with massive failures at every level we'll probably sort it out right pronto, there's millions upon millions of very smart people in the world and if there was some serious systemic failure many of them would be directing their attention to fixing it.

Battery goes flat on my phone? I can ask someone else for directions. The entire cellular network goes down - there's going to be a lot of clever people working hard to make sure it's back up pretty soon (and I can still ask a local or something for directions).

EngTech Mon 21-Jan-19 15:38:17

The old skills and knowledge will be lost to future generations.

Technology is great, till it goes wrong.

Cashless society in the future?

Hmmm, what happened when TSB had problems?

Basic map reading skills? No problem while the smart phone is working.

What happens when it breaks or battery goes flat?

RhubarbTea Mon 21-Jan-19 14:58:17

@NameChanger22
"In the future I think I think there will be a backlash against the internet and people will go back to the old ways again."

I think so too, although I would say technology in general as well as just the internet. There will be a resurgence of people becoming facinated by old skills and learning them again. Knitting is already gaining popularity as well as sewing and crafts and I think a lot of people will embrace the basics again. Minimalism will get super popular and people will steer away from the current constant cycle of buying stuff and having more and more.

thatmustbenigelwiththebrie Mon 21-Jan-19 14:52:42

And my school friend had a "boyfriend" whom she'd met in a chat room. he was in the army in Canada (allegedly). They used to email each other and she'd bring in his emails printed out for us all to read. We were very jealous.

thatmustbenigelwiththebrie Mon 21-Jan-19 14:51:43

My sister and I, who were about 13 and 11 at the time, would spend ages trying to get online with our rubbish dial up and then hang out in chat rooms pretending we were cool sexy students and chatting up men! Awful.

DGRossetti Mon 21-Jan-19 14:37:08

AI will be hugely important.

When it arrives yes.

Peregrane Mon 21-Jan-19 13:40:50

I fear we'll be moving towards living underground as we are well on course to trashing the earth. Literally a handful of years left to reverse course on climate change which would still leave us with significant warming over this century and the following ones, and extreme weather events. And by the way things are going, I fear our chances of effective planetary action are nil.

Also given humanity's track record in hubris, whatever geoengineering tricks we may possibly come up with to keep the planet liveable, if not thriving, will be guaranteed to have unforeseen effects that are unlikely to all be in our favour.

PaddyF0dder Mon 21-Jan-19 13:36:35

The line between “online” and “offline” will become so blurred as to be meaningless. Technology will be inside us in some way; we will interface directly with computers. It will start as medical and military uses, and gradually we’ll have brain-computer interface.

AI will be hugely important. We have started to accept things like Alexa into our lives; in 20 years Alexa will appear laughable. AI will be EVERYWHERE, integrated seamless into our lives.

Cars will be electric and autonomous.

We will travel less. Our environment will have suffered hugely from inactivity. Weather will be more extreme. This will have geopolitical consequences.

There will be a manned research outpost on Mars. There will be the very beginnings of asteroid mining by unmanned craft. It will take a long time to catch on.

Kazzyhoward Mon 21-Jan-19 11:55:17

I hope that connectivity will continue to improve for remote areas.

Not even "remote" areas. I live in a village, just 5 miles from a city, with over 5,000 residents, and we're still on slow broadband. Yes, we have fibre to the village "exchange", but then it's all copper cabling throughout the village, so those living at the opposite end of the village still suffer slow broadband, even with fibre.

We also have pretty crap mobile phone coverage too, so you can't even get fast broadband via iphones which also means that modern developments such as broadband on buses doesn't work outside the city centre either.

It's going to be a long time before the internet takes over our lives in relatively built up villages still don't get decent broadband and mobile signals. Heaven help the really remote areas!!

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