Inverse FUTURE SHOCK

The self confinement imposed by COVID-19 reminds me of 1984 book Future Shock authored by Alvin Toffler.

He coined and used the term “Future Shock” to describe, “the psychological and physiological effects that occur when the base of a culture moves faster than the ideological superstructure; it causes cultural anxiety. More narrowly it was understood that new technology was outpacing the understanding of it that could occur. An individual experiencing future shock can feel like an alien in their own territory”.

COVID-19, I believe has brought in its wake an ‘Inverse Future Shock’. It is not caused by super technologies rather it is being caused by inaptness and ineffectiveness of super technologies. Technological pronouncements of mighty SAPIENS have been laid threadbare. Mighty Sapiens trying to conquer Mars have been rendered helpless infront of a micro-micro organism. It speaks of absolute subservience of human being infront of mother nature.

COVID-19 is teaching us new protocols. How we meet?, how we socialise?, how we move? and how we conduct our lives? all is being altered. The book Future Shock basically focused on element of ‘change’ which occures in our lives. The author described nature of a society alongwith probable rate of change. He first talked of agrarian society, where an individual faces minimal change. Round the clock, he interacts with small coterie. Minimal move, minimal change and minimal pressures. Then he talked about semi-developed society. In this case after couple of years the individual is relocated to a new place. He is faced with more frequent movement, more change and more pressures. Finally he talked about super-industrialised society. In this case there is tremendous movement, very high rate of change and very high pressures. Owing to mutiple factors like industrial progress, prosperity and materialism; human’s life had become maddening race. We were overpowered by events thus by high rate of change. Unwittingly, we seemingly struggle to keep pace with demands of life. COVID-19, besides numerous ill-effects has brought a welcome change too. We are confined to our homes. We are giving greater time to families. We are moving less. We are in no hassle. We are not overpowered by events. In nutshell there is a soothing and calming effect on agitated, frustrated and excited Sapiens. If we manage to throw out fear and scare of COVID-19, I feel life won’t be bad. Although, for sure very soon this pandemic will be over and once again we shall board, ‘bullet train’ of life and start running again. Till then enjoy please.

Churchill made a profound statement during World War 2 ”Never let a good crisis go waste”. Very meaningful and thought provoking. Isn’t it?

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