To begin with, I would like to say that Alvin Toffler is a well-known futurist writer. In his books he examines how the developments of the modern technologies influence on the social, political and economical state of the countries.
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Moreover, in his book “Future Shock”, which was written in 1970, he explains the meaning of such phenomena as “future shock”. As you know, it became the best seller, because people found some ways of dealing with challenges and difficulties which appear before mankind.
The author explains that technological developments have turned up out of the blue so fast that a lot of people have not got enough opportunity to adapt to that process.
And as a result, instability has become an integral part of social and economical life. The number of crimes, drug addiction, divorces is increasing rapidly because of “future shock”.
As he writes in his book: “In the three short decades between now and the twenty-first century, millions of ordinary, psychologically normal people will face an abrupt collision with the future. Citizens of the world’s richest and most technologically advanced nations, many of them will find it increasingly painful to keep up with the incessant demand for change that characterizes out time. For them, the future will have arrived too soon” (Toffler Chapter 1 p. 9).
I must admit that this book is very useful. It is the so-called guide for those people who are experiencing “future shock” because of the rapid changes.
As the author points out in his book: “It is these durational expectancies, different in each society but learned early and deeply ingrained, that are shaken up when the pace of life is altered” (Toffler Chapter 3 p. 43)
The way I see it, changes must take place in our life, and changes are not too bad and awful. Life will be very boring without changes. But I agree with the author, when he admits that unexpected and sudden changes could be some troubles for people.
As the author writes in his two chapters of the book: “The Collapse of Hierarchy” and “A Superabundance of Selves” that rampant technological, economic and cultural innovation is mainly a good thing, or at least potentially liberating for most of us once we learned how to deal with it (Gillespie).
In his book Toffler admits that Americans felt some confusion about the changes during that “future shock”. And I agree with him when he suggests that children should learn and read much more science fiction and that the studying of the future should be an essential part of education in America.
When I was reading this book, I liked most of all that part of the book where Toffler described the so-called “Strategies for Survival”. To my mind, it is that part of the book where Toffler put his best methods of solutions of the future problems.
The way I see it, the writer is not right enough in his definition that Western society is unable to keep up with the rate of technological and social changes. Maybe, I think so, because I did not catch that crucial period during the late 1960s. And my point of view is that Western generations have survived during wars, revolutions, restructuring and others historical events that is why “future shock” is under our force.
Gillespie, Nick. “The Future Is Now”. The New York Times. 2006. Print.
Toffler, Alvin. The Future Shock. New York: Random House, 1970. Print.