How is Life in the 21st Century? Happy? Pretty ugly, I reckon. Regardless, life in the 21st century is way too different from the 19th or 20th century. Our ancestors will stand rapt in awe and bewilderment, seeing the technology and machinery we are using. They also will be astonished to see the formidable and rather unwinnable challenges. Most likely, they will not like the robot-like humans living compromised and ennui-stricken life.
What it Means to be Alive Today? Challenges and Opportunities
How is Life in the 21st Century? Pretty complex. Today’s world is in a state of flux. Industrial, info-tech, and bio-tech have brought an unprecedented transformation in the socio-economic, political, religious, and cultural patterns of the world. New opportunities and novel problems have emerged from this change. Social media is good enough to bring a revolution.
Muhammad Bouazizi in Tunisia self-immolated himself that ignited Arab Spring when it went trending on social media. Women like Tarana Burke with no investment were able to start the MeeToo movement with the help of social media. Also, online earning is something novel and extremely revolutionary.
How is Life in the 21st Century? Not too bad. There is no deadly war being fought nor is it in the offing. Today, more people die of accidents than of terrorism or warfare, which is incredible. Today, the stats of poverty and hunger have been the lowest in human history.
On the other hand, the issue of climate change is going off-the-scale coupled with the Midsummer’s many of the stakeholders. The millennials are wasting hours each day on social media, the rising extremism across the globe and many other issues are suffocating.
Life Amidst Industrial and Infotech Revolutions
How is life in the 21st century? Not as bad as you might think. The new generation is witnessing an unprecedented transformation in society. Firstly, the first, second, third, and now the fourth industrial revolution has revolutionized the world. From modes of transportation to modes of communication, everything has changed.
Generally, it is seen that every new century is comparatively more advanced than the last one. But, the changes that have taken place in the last few centuries and especially in the last five score years, the change and transformation are unparalleled and unprecedented.
For example, if a person from the 17th century comes to see life in the 18th century, he would undoubtedly see many new things, but overall, life would be the same. But, if a person who died in 1900 comes to see life in 2000, the person would stand rapt in awe, for there would hardly be anything in use that was in vogue in 1900.
It is since the means, and ways of communication, trade, education, war, preaching, everything has changed. This all-out transformation is a remarkable characteristic of modern society.
How is Life in the 21st Century? Opportunities and Challenges
How is Life in the 21st Century? Full of opportunities. The first encouraging and amazing thing is the host of opportunities in the wake of the info-tech revolution. Media, print, electronic, and social, is the forerunner of the success of the story.
The first time, there is almost everything for students. Now, an eager beaver student in the Mumbai slum can watch the video lectures of some of the most advanced universities.
For instance, a student in South Africa cannot fully complain about not having quality-assured education because there is almost a fine-tuned course or lecture on any topic. A poor student does not need to spend thousands on buying books or getting paid tuition.
Today, a small Android phone of $100 can be a thousand dollars worth of library. A student can explore different websites and can learn advanced writing techniques for free. This is an unbelievable advancement of the human race for being able to deliver easy and hassle-free knowledge to everyone.
Life in a Global Village and the Power of Social Media
How is Life in the 21st Century? Many encouraging things. A notable aspect of the media is that it has made the world a global village. Although this is a cliche statement, it is very meaningful and revolutionary. Social media is good enough to bring a revolution. Muhammad Bouazizi in Tunisia self-immolated himself that ignited Arab Spring when it went trending on social media.
Women like Tarana Burke with no investment were able to start the MeeToo movement with the help of social media. The 2016 coup in Turkey was unsuccessful because of social media. This shows how social media has made society more vibrant and proactive. Probably, that is the reason I regard the info-tech revolution as the acme of human success.
Poverty is at the Lowest Point in Human History
How is life in the 21st century? Beautiful and accomplished. Humans have made great headway on the socio-economic, and political fronts. For example, according to the recent report of the World Bank, since 1990, more than 1 billion people have been brought out of poverty.
Despite the novel, Covid-19, from 40 to 60 million people came out of extreme poverty in 2020 (World Bank, 2020). This looks more pronounced and relevant when one sees that one hundred years ago, nearly half of the world was living below the poverty line.
Today, there are around 700 million that will drop to 480 million by 2030 (Kharas et al., May 2019). In this way, one can stand and admire the dividends of the industrial and the info-tech revolution.
How is Life in the 21st Century? Not bad if seen from a vantage point. More people die of obesity than hunger in today’s world. Hunger, drought phase, and starvation have remained the age-old companion of humans. But recently, humans seem to have found ways to live independently and lively.
More People Die in Accidents than in Terrorism or Warfare
How is Life in the 21st Century? Pretty good. More people die in accidents than in terrorism today. It does not mean that all is well, but it certainly means that the world is more peaceful than in the last century. In 1920, the world was mourning the human and economic losses after fighting World War I. This means the world is more than it has been in the past.
For example, according to Yuval Noah Harari, last year, nearly 1.4 million people succumbed to death after an accident. In comparison to it, less than 0.7 million people died in wars and conflicts around the globe (Harari, 2018). This is a great journey from being warlords to what we are today.
How is Life in the 21st Century? Menace of Climate Change
How is life in the 21st century? A mess. Humans have blindly built sky-kissing edifices and have used carbon fossils for transportation. But in this attempt, they have given birth to the climate change crisis. Of all evils to the life and liberty of human beings, global warming is the most serious and alarming. This is posing an existential threat that is haunting the very existence of humans on Earth.
Global warming is a colloquial term that is used to tell the process of the earth getting hotter and bitter for the existence of life. The novel technologies are also seriously hurting the environment: the smoke from chimneys, the methane emission from the process of fracking, and many other sources.
Unexpected Weather Patterns
How is Life in the 21st Century? On the verge of climatic collapse. The global temperature is increasing at a serious pace and it not only has changed the patterns of weather but has also caused very detrimental hurricanes, typhoons, floods tsunamis, earthquakes, avalanches, etc. This has already existed in the world but the patterns are unusual and unexpected which has made man’s life tougher than ever.
The UN and many other organizations are working to save the planet but their efforts alone cannot set things right. The main source of this troubling phenomenon is the overwhelming consumption of Carbon Dioxide and many other such gases.
The Temperature of Earth is set to Increase from about 2.5 Degrees Celsius to 4 degrees Celsius
How is Life in the 21st Century? Frustrating. Global warming is a very dangerous thing because it has been constantly increasing the temperature of the earth. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a subsidiary body of the UN is composed of a group of nearly 1300 scientists who are experts in climate change and their analysis and reviews are extremely upsetting and deadly (IPCC, 2019).
In a recent report, they have alarmed the world that the temperature of Earth is set to increase about 2.5 degrees Celsius to 4 degrees Celsius which the earth cannot afford to do so.
They further add that from 1870 to till now the rise in temperature has not been more than 1 degree Celsius but the pace is shooting up to an uncontrollable height. There is a consensus that the global rise in temperature can only be affordable if it goes up to 1 degree or a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
This seems a distant dream in the wake of the recent revelations about climate change. The situation will go from bad to worse if no substantive action is taken. This apathy of the world leaders, in general, is extremely frustrating and nerve-wracking.
Miami, Mumbai, Lagos, Dhaka, Jakarta, Venice, Karachi, Alexandria and Maldives are Set to Disappear
How is Life in the 21st Century? Devastating. A notable disruption that global warming can cause is the rise of sea levels. A recent report of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change shows that the rising sea level can prove to be a detrimental thing because it not only can cause massive human migration but can also destroy many cities and their economies (UNFCCC, 2020).
According to the estimate, nearly 49% of the global population will be affected if the process of global warming continues. These are those cities and islands that are very close to any sea or ocean.
If the temperature keeps on rising at the current pace, a surge of nearly 1 to 2 millimeters will be seen in the sea level each year which means the total destruction of the global social and economic system.
How is Life in the 21st Century? Exasperating. Cities like Miami, Mumbai, Lagos, Dhaka, Jakarta, Venice, Karachi, Alexandria, and countries like the Maldives will be engulfed by the sea if no major changes are made in the near future. This becomes more painful when emitters of carbon emission become nonchalant like China or indifferent like Trump’s America.
How is Life in the 21st Century? A world of Shallow, Thin-skinned, Gloomy and Egoistic Millennials
How is life in the 21st century? A combination of ignorance, fakery, pessimism, regrets, and rather unwinnable psychological challenges. The thing that enrages me the most is the attitudes and behaviors of millennials. The new generation squanders hours a day on social media. It is extremely painful to know that this generation wastes a major portion of their lives on listless activities.
The report of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders shows that over 210 million people are addicted to social media. This is a staggering figure because it is a brain drain of 210 million people (Leack, 2018). They could have added a lot to strengthen the economy of their country or improve their and their children’s lives.
The World Economic Forum 2019 report tells that millennials waste nearly 3 hours a day on social media (Veins, 2019). They are doing nothing important but are becoming bait for advertisements. It has made the millennials the generation of consumers. It is one of the points that will really enrage me in 2020.
How is Life in the 21st Century? Violent & Bigoted
How is life in the 21st century? Unliveable. It is because of the rising extremism and bigotry across the globe. This extremism is not necessarily militaristic but intellectual, social, religious, and cultural. There is no denying the fact that mainstream religions like Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. But, the extreme fringes are going off the scale.
For example, for the last few decades, the world is under attack by so-called Islamic terrorists like Al-Qaida, Tehrik e Taliban, Daesh, and many others. They have been championing an Islamic that is beyond recognition. This is no different from peaceful Hinduism.
How is Life in the 21st Century? Prone to violence and intolerance. Modi-led India is, to my understanding, is heading towards an India for Hindus only. Extremists have lynched many Muslims on the cow-meat issue.
In Myanmar, peaceful Buddhists feel no pain for slaughtering the innocent and helpless Muslim minorities of Rohingya. Judaism-led Israel feels no shame in bombing hospitals, auspices, and schools of Gaza. LRA (in Uganda), in the name of Christianity, behaves like Al-Qaida. Religions have always been a refuge for panic-stricken minds.
But, religions become a brute force, and humans will die amongst the most advanced machines ever built. This is an extremely grievous situation for human beings, one of the rarest species in the universe.
So, how is life in the 21st century? Pretty ugly. Isn’t it? It is evident that the world is witnessing a major change. The age of information technology and biotechnology are offering many opportunities.
Social media is waging revolutions, giving online earnings, and is choking many evils by kickstarting movements like MeeToo. This has made the world unbelievably advanced and full of opportunities. On the other hand, there are a host of problems that are wreaking havoc on society.
Climate change is also posing an existential threat to the human race because of the ever-increasing sea level, and carbon emissions resulting in the form of greenhouse effects.
Moreover, the new generation, the millennials are infatuated with social media and are wasting hours each day. The rising extremism across the globe is also grievous and nerve-wracking. The need of the hour is to seriously address the issue of climate.
The United Nations needs some substantive support to deal with climate change. Media can play an important part in weakening the issue of extremism or in guiding the millennials. This is the only way to survive and thrive for human beings.
Harari (2018). 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Jonathan Cape London.
IPCC (2019) Climate Change and Land, An IPCC Special Report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.
Kharas et al (May, 2019). Global poverty reduction has slowed down—again. Brookings.
Leack, J., (November, 2018). Stop Wasting Time On Social Media And Learn One Of These Skills Instead. Mandatory
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2020). UNO.
The World Bank (2020). Poverty
Veins, A., (October, 2019). This graph tells us who’s using social media the most. World Economic ForumShare