We may live a totally different life in the next few decades because modernity has brought with it a new life style. Nowadays people take less time to eat, go to fast food shops to gulp hamburgers, hot dogs and chips. In the future, we might have conventional food being replaced by food substitutes like pills, or we might get our nutrients out of crude oil; that would shorten meal times even further. Conversely, many people are prepared to spend more time shopping in supermarkets (and even on the Internet). A lot of them are now becoming shopaholics, buying products that they don’t really need. Their number will rise further in the near future.
This is partly because it is much easier to shop, especially as more and more supermarkets are equipped with fast serving cash desks which prevent long queues. In the future, shop assistants may be replaced by robots which could actually do the same job as them, with greater efficiency and in less time. That of course would probably have side effects like an increase in unemployment.
Leisure will also change, because of the development of all sorts of electronic devices, like the multimedia, cable television and other contrivances. People will be less tempted to go out for a film, a play or a concert. They’ll pay even less visits to each other because the cell phone is such a convenient way to keep in touch. And what to say about the Internet through which people can instantly chat with and watch each other via the web cam! Alternatively, we’ll have more free time to enjoy holidays at lower prices in distant places. But is this life of the future the kind of life people would like to have? Couldn’t modernity preserve social relations and be a means to an end rather than an end in itself?