The forces acting on ‘Relationships’ in the future
Among the many forces influencing people’s relationships, we explore how technology may disrupt, initiate, manage or support our connections.
We explore how childhood engagement with technology has huge potential opportunities for education and creativity but may also shift some dynamics in children’s relationships with each other, with their parents or even their teachers, as the roles of these people adapt. The general increase in the time children spend immersed in digital spaces might influence the way in which parents are able to raise them. Their exposure to unparented digital spaces (where they are exposed to organisations with their own agendas), may lose ground to those spaces which are parented.
We discuss how cultural changes in our perceptions of identity may shift our types of relationships and how these relationships may be initiated or supported by technologies, which t may come to intimately understand our behaviours and dynamics. This emerging space for technologically enabled relationships is fascinating and filled with opportunity. It may help counter what could be described as a deterioration of social cohesion, isolation, polarisation of our society or dwindling communities. On the other hand, it could damage the authenticity of our connections or create even more division
In these scenarios, we explore how engagement with technology may alter or enable the dynamics of our relationships. We also explore what might happen as the relationshipss become initiated and managed through AI.
With these potential forces acting on people’s relationships, we explore three hypothetical scenarios: Digital childhoods, Enhanced Relationships and Sidelined and Connected Communities.
These scenarios consist of a future context (that is based on a trend analysis) and a concept of a future person whose experience of relationships has a large bearing on their happiness. For these future people, we predict needs, desires and future pain points relating to their future context and use this as a basis for the ideation of provocative future concepts that may solve some of the needs of the future person.
Children may spend more time in online environments that can transform their educational and creative experiences, but equally have increased capacity to captivate and shape their worldview in potentially problematic ways.
People have an increased sense of independent freedom of identity, allowing them to more fluidly define who they are and how they live, outside of more societally constructed norms such as gender, nationality, race, profession or sexuality.
Sidelined and connected communities
The elderly are sidelined but new tools could help connect them in communities and fight for a place in society.