The Web dramatically alters many aspects of daily life, and tomorrow’s way of life will be radically different.
The Web speeds up everything to real-time simultaneity.
It erodes time and distance, and revives human communication on a
planet-wide basis. It puts everybody and everything in touch and within
reach. In sum, the Webolution flips life and society on its head.
The Webolution returns us to a family-based economy
more like that of the Agricultural Era. Back then, people tended to
live in large, close-knit, multi-generational families, with
grandparents living under the same roof. Uncles, aunts, in-laws, and
cousins lived at nearby cottages or neighboring farms. Each family
grouping worked together as a self-sufficient economic production and
consumption unit. They were "prosumers" but didn’t sell much to anybody
else because most families were self-sufficient farm businesses.
Those skeptical of the Webolution and the coming Web Lifestyle are
akin to the plodding ploughman who couldn’t see how the first steam
engine chugging past his field was about to change the world – and his
livelihood. Their eyes are transfixed on the linear furrows of an old
way of life that will soon be washed away by a new one. Not even the
village idiot would have forecast that the fields would one day be
harvested with a combine – let alone be built over with factories and
But the Industrial Revolution swiftly shifted work to
factories, and later to factory-like office buildings. Kids went to
factory-like schools, the sick were put in factory-like hospitals and
the elderly were confined to nursing
homes. Life was turned upside down.
Likewise today: few can imagine most of us spending our time at home
– rather than commuting to offices, going to schools, or shopping in
big box stores and supermarkets. Yet a whole set of webolutionary trends
are converging to transfer life’s locus back into the home.
Everything gets reversed: the world comes to you: • You don’t go to work, work comes to you. • You don’t go to the library, it comes to you. • You don’t go to the bank, the bank comes to you. • You don’t go to the shop, the shop comes to you. • You don’t go to school, school comes to you. • You don’t go to the doctor, he/she comes to you. • You don’t go to vote, you vote online. Rather than going out and wasting valuable time waiting “in line,” futuristic families simply stay home and go “online.”
Web Life families allocate their time to various tasks almost on an
as-needed or just-in-time basis. They blend all aspects of their lives,
multi-tasking their time as the precious resource that it is.
The Web creates a new pathway for life – for work, education, shopping, recreation, and much more.
Each Web Lifestyle family will have the world at its fingertips
– for children’s homework, for cross-border online shopping, for
tele-working, for staying in constant touch with friends, relatives, and
colleagues, for running a family business.
Futuristic families look forward, eagerly and confidently. They readily and quickly change their life plans. They spot and benefit from trends that can “future-proof” their lives through a Web Lifestyle.
Many of us already use the Web in much the same way that old-fashioned folks still insist on:
• Sticking stamps on envelopes, • Using payphones, • Visiting bank tellers, • Shopping in bookstores, or • Renting videotapes.
Just as those activities were taken-for-granted parts of the fast-fading industrial lifestyle, most of us will take the Web for granted; we won’t even notice it.
The book Future Living fully explains these “webified” activities and how they point to a brand new future for us all. Our way of life is completely changing again – and just as dramatically.