you are 1,000 years in the future

Imagine you are caught in the middle of a terrible snowstorm. You become lost, find yourself trapped, and several hours later, are unable to move. You have been frozen to death! Or have you? One thousand years pass before you are discovered, quite unexpectedly, by a group of scientists. Advanced modern technology allows them to release you from your cryogenically suspended state. After several days you regain full consciousness. The world you once knew in 2020 no longer exists. The year is 3020; it is exactly 1,000 years ahead in the future-in planet Earth’s future.

Several weeks pass before you witness your new world. Everything seems foreign to you. Your former life is forever gone. Your family, friends, loved ones–they are long gone. In your new world, you make the following observations:

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Neither the men nor the women have any hair on their bodies whatsoever.
It appears that humans have shrunken in size. Men have an average height of about 5′ 6″ and women appear to have an average height of 5′ 2″.
Obesity is non-existent. Both men and women have a slender build. Men appear to weigh about 110 pounds and women about 85 pounds.
For weeks on end you are examined daily by dozens of scientists. They are as much amazed by you as you are by them.
Money, and the exchanging of money, is non-existent.
An escort is by your side every moment. You are never alone. You have no privacy–ever!
The food is salmon colored and looks like wallpaper paste. It’s very similar to a Hawaiian food known as poi.
Reading is possible for you, but very difficult. Many letters of the alphabet have been replaced by Egyptian-looking symbols. This is very confusing to you.
How do you think this would make you feel? One thing is for certain: you would have a lot of adjustments to make. First, you would have to figure out how you were going to adapt to your new environment. You would experience a great deal of stress in your transition from 2020 to 3020. Physical survival is not a problem. Emotional survival is another issue. You would always be an outsider. You would always be different.

Obviously, this isn’t something we need to worry ourselves about too much. If you think about it though, we truly are products of our culture. We feel most comfortable around familiar surroundings. Take us outside of our comfort zones and we start to become very uncomfortable. If you’ve ever traveled abroad then you know what it feels like to be outside of your comfort zone.

Imagine on a smaller scale how different groups of immigrants felt when they came to the United States 150 or 100 years ago or even today. Think about how foreign and different things must have seemed to them. Think back to the story you have just read. Your arrival in the year 3020 was just as scary and confusing as the arrival of immigrants to this country, especially those that embraced languages and lifestyles very much different from our own.

Answer the following ten questions:

Explain today’s concept of culture and contrast it with culture in the new world.
Could you adapt to living in this new, futuristic society? Why or why not?
What kind of insights could you share with people of this new world?
What would be the toughest obstacles you would face knowing that it’s 1,000 years ahead in the future?
Do you feel you would ever be socially accepted in this advanced society?
What would you call the economic revolution of this new society?
How would you adjust to the limited food offerings?
The concept of money is nonexistent. How would that make you feel?
What could you offer to the people in this futuristic world?
What have you learned in this sociology course that could be used to describe this new society 1,000 years ahead of today?

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