It is amazing how people can foresee the future through their fantasies, utopias, and dystopias. This book on the psychology of the abnormal was written before I was born (in 1976). I read, “We are rapidly moving into a hightech society for which most of us are unprepared. Our future is not guaranteed.”
The Age of Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries is replaced by industrialization and technological progress in the 19th and 20th centuries. And here we are – in an era of anxiety and uncertainty, complemented by new information progress (the development of artificial intelligence and global digitalization). ChatGPT and AI designers already work better (i.e. faster and cheaper) than humans. And we have even more free time, which of course we spend online.
We spend our days on our phones, watching videos, looking at pictures and texting. I bet you won’t even remember which videos you watched today – what about? why? who was the author? Life has incredibly accelerated and flies by so fast that we barely notice the facial features of not only the bloggers we watch every day, but also our relatives, our husbands, our children. Are you sure you remember what they look like right now? Where are their birthmarks? What color are their eyes? Where are the wrinkles?
The notion of normality is being transformed – everyone is promoting their own norm, their own vision of this world. It is already difficult to distinguish between what is normal and what is crazy – genders, orientations, transformations, special operations. Whoever has the most subscribers is right. Whoever has more viewers is normal. Whoever shouts louder is heard. And with the development of social networks, literally everyone is his own blogger, with his own norm and assessment of reality. The Internet was supposed to unite, but in fact it has further atomized reality.
Loneliness has become the new norm. The phone is the best friend. A book is a rare treat. How can you read if you have to run? Things are changing so fast that knowledge becomes obsolete faster than you can graduate from uni. In a post-industrial society, we are simultaneously living in reality and in meta-universes. And it’s hard to know which of these lives is more real and important. What do you prefer – an award at work or +1000 subscribers on the social network?
It feels like reality is slipping through your fingers. Digital assets are an illusory fiction. Everything works somehow, but no one fully understands how. Neural networks are the black box of modernity. Artificial intelligence is the black hole of society. Uncertainty is the new format of life. Anxiety is a normal reaction to what is happening. What does the future hold for all of us?