Future Shock is a book written by the sociologist and futurologist Alvin Toffler in 1970. It’s a term for a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies. Toffler's shortest definition of future shock is a personal perception of "too much change in too short a period of time".
Toffler argues that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a "super-industrial society". This change will overwhelm people, the accelerated rate of technological and social change leaving them disconnected and suffering from "shattering stress and disorientation" – future shocked.
The First Wave is the settled agricultural society which prevailed in much of the world after the Neolithic Revolution, which replaced hunter-gatherer cultures.
The Second Wave is Industrial Age society, which began in Western Europe with the Industrial Revolution, and spread across the world. Key aspects of Second Wave society are the nuclear family, a factory-type education system and the corporation. mass production, mass distribution, mass consumption, mass education, mass media, mass recreation, mass entertainment, and weapons of mass destruction.
The Third Wave is the post-industrial society. Since the late 1950s most countries have been transitioning from a Second Wave society into a Third Wave society. Also known as the Information Age.
The question has been raised with increasing frequency as to whether a Fourth Wave is looming or already underway with the most recent dislocations that appear to be taking place in the world.
What will be The Fourth Wave?
History accelerates to the point where the past catches up with the present? Apocalypse? Expansion into outer space? The rise of a second agricultural revolution to enable off-world settlement? Reclamation of desolate regions on the Earth? A paradigm shift of extraordinary science? An era of extinction that lasts 10 million years? The extinction of Homo Sapiens? Octopuses shimmy onto land? Antarctica is once more a luscious green land of trees? We become cyborgs? Cyclops? Mutate into super beings? Men bare babies? Women rule the world? We communicate with our minds? Create a new sound? A new artform? Happy pants come back into fashion? HOVERBOARDS?!?!?!?!?!