Friday, 30 May 2014
How do you feel about the future?
Excited? Scared? Apprehensive? Positive?
Well, regardless of how we feel, the future is inevitable. It’s a done deal.
Entitled ‘Safeguarding the Future of Digital Australia in 2025’, this fascinating report contains predictions about how we will be living our lives in just 10 years’ time.
While there are no guarantees, the forecasts are based on extensive research, analysis of trends and interviews of academics and thought leaders (no tarot cards!) so we’re in good hands! And if we are able to understand how the world may change, we will be able to better develop the skills required and navigate the challenges along the way so we can keep safe and enjoy the ride.
Here are some of my favourite findings:
• Our voices will control the lighting, temperature and entertainment when we are at home.
• Sensors in our clothes, chairs and bathrooms will monitor our health and send info to doctors.
• General purpose robots will help tidy and make beds.
• Fridges will be able to make regular orders for staples.
• Houses will authenticate visitors as they arrive.
• Life-logging and extreme oversharing will occur as digital storage will cost almost nothing.
• Authenticating ourselves online will be mean we can do more online e.g. vote.
• Identity theft will hit new heights with cybercrime becoming far more sophisticated.
• Our online reputations will drive opportunities e.g. employment/banking.
• Social connections will drive all stages of buying.
• Almost all work will be global.
• Robots and artificial intelligence will mean the end to process-orientated roles but the birth of more creative, relationship focussed jobs.
• Play will become a key feature in the modern office.
• Co-working spaces with sophisticated communication technologies will pop up in the suburbs - perfect for the self-employed, entrepreneurs and those avoiding a commute.
• A rapidly increasing percentage of the population will be self-employed.
GenNext – the next Generation!
• There will be an expectation that constant connectivity will be a universal right.
• Connected children will challenge traditional classroom structures.
• Alternative schooling such as online home schooling will thrive.
• Peer recognition will trump education when employers choose new candidates.
• Those born in the digital era will have different neurological wiring to previous generations.
• Implant technologies will be used to improve bodies and minds.
Absolutely fascinating, isn’t it?
But it seems that many Aussies have mixed feelings about the future. In fact, recent research undertaken by McAfee shows that only 49% of us are comfortable with technology taking a more dominant role in our daily lives. 42% of us think technology is making life more complicated and only a third of us feel safe and secure in our increasingly digital world.
As parents, embracing change and progress is essential. How can we guide our offspring through a constantly evolving world if we haven’t jumped onboard ourselves? Putting our head in the sand is not an option.
So, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of such change, here are my top tips to reduce your anxiety and get you back on track:
1. Ensure you understand technology NOW.
Get online. Join social media. Whatever your kids are into – you need to be into also.
Don’t let the gap get too wide before the next thing comes along.
2. Invest in Internet Security protections software across all your devices including smartphones, tablets and PCs. Update annually so you and your family are always protected.
Australia in 2025 will clearly be an exciting place to be. Our future is bright and full of opportunities.
Embrace it, prepare for it and you will enjoy the ride - and as Mahatma Gandhi once said: ‘The future depends on what you do today’. So, prepare now so you can enjoy later!
Till next time
Fun activity to do at home
If you want to spend some quality time with your child while reinforcing safe online behaviour, download this 'Chatterbox' and play along!
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