Imagine what the world will be like when you are an old person.

Published: Friday, 25 September 2015 Written by Zinielle Vital

If you had asked me this essay question about seven years ago, I probably would have conjured up a tale of flying cars, having super powers, robots that do your chores for you and moving my family to the moon. Now I imagine things differently, I often wonder if the future resembles the fictional world of ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry or even the harsh totalitarian dictatorship society depicted in ‘The Hunger Games’ series by Suzanne Collins.

 The year is 2061 and I sit on my balcony awaiting the Halley's Comet, a comet which orbits the sun every 75-76 years. I’ve looked forward to seeing it ever since I read about it in a book about astronauts when I was in the 6th grade. The live passing of the comet will be also projected on the local holographic television in the sky.

The year 2082 rolls around and I think I finally understand how my grandmother felt when she often said "Oh, things have changed so much!". Whenever I look outside through the transparent solar cell windows at the young neighbourhood children, ever so full of life, playing with the recreational bots on their hover boards, I can’t help but think of her words. When I was their age humanoids were only found in your favourite Sci-fi movies that you couldn’t imagine to be anything more than fiction. I recently found old DVDs, among which were home-videos, movies and other things. It made me think about how much things have changed and I sometimes now miss the past. I also am still very fascinated by all what humanity has achieved in what sometimes seems to be the short space of my lifetime.

A lot of positive changes occurred over these many years. Due to the efforts of the governments of the world’s superpower countries, racism is almost absent in our society - people are more racially ambiguous and have learned to coexist peacefully. In terms of media and entertainment, everything is now beyond your fingertips. Televisions have been replaced by OHMDs (optical head-mounted displays) and contact lenses which project the image directly onto your retina while the sound comes through wireless earbuds for a more personal experience. Holograms are commonly used in the average home as a source of family entertainment and communication. Telepathic headgear has replaced mobile phones - this wearable piece of technology interprets electromagnetic brain waves and converts them into telepathic signals, making telephoning and communicating to a lot more efficient.

However, like most things, the good was accompanied by the bad. There are loud whispers about a world war between America and China after many disputes over China claiming ownership of Mars after two long years of invasions. Scientists have also found a way to resuscitate humans who were cryopreserved, but that brought back highly contagious diseases and undesirable mutated DNA which were previously eradicated. Another major recent problem is hacking, which over the years has become a rampant crime. I remember in 2073, a local hacker group caused quite a stir in the community when they broke into the security systems of some stores though a glitch in their firewall.

The world is so different from when I was young, and I am so proud to have seen my generation of yesterday’s youth grow up and aid in the progression of mankind, though we still don’t have super powers or flying cars. Sometimes it makes me a bit sad that I will not be able to see how far we’ll reach beyond my days, but I have high expectations for the coming generations.

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