What Will We Do With Our Free Time?

When I was a boy in the Seventies, I remember being told many times that in the future (meaning now) we would only work four days a week for short hours, and we would have lots and lots of days off. The problem and the question, then was, ‘what would we do with our free time?’

Now, I am optimistic: I assume that those days will indeed come. The caveat is that apparently we’ll have to go through the computer dark ages before we arrive to our liberation. Hopefully, as the very nature of computer technology is mega fast growth, that won’t take 300 years as the last terrible Dark Age did.

Many people like to blame the economy for the hard times we’re in, but to me it seems that everyone has a different opinion of what the actual problems are, which means that after all everyone is confused. In any case, everyone talks about money as the big problem. That’s fine for them to talk about, but I’m more interested in how computer technology is changing our lifestyles.

Maybe I am an example of the future. I am underemployed (while my one sister does the work of three people and the other does none at all), don’t have a high income, don’t need or own a car (plenty of public transportation), and I have decent health insurance (including dental). I have a lot of time off but I don’t spend much money. I communicate with people from around the world using voice chat (I have reached a point in life where I spend more time talking to people on the net than I do in real life) and I rarely go out for dining or even to watch a movie. I also like to watch documentaries on the net. Going out usually means hiking the local mountain.

Sounds really boring and sad, I’m sure. But I’m happy with my life. And my guess is that people aren’t going to be like me. They’re going to get really plugged in to virtual reality. That’s where most of us will be spending our free time in the future, and it will be really cheap.