—Shakespeare’s metaphor “What is past is prologue” is used to trace past changes of the previous century that caused the social and psychological challenges of today. Those changes included inventions that made war more devastating and challenged us to live through technological inventions that completely changed our society. Next, challenges of the present, in the form of changes taking place that are creating personal and social difficulties are similarly examined. These include terrorism, overpopulation, global warming, new diseases, and a war that could destroy Earth’s entire population. Some of these may be precursors to challenges of the 21st Century. Based on these, some forecasts are made regarding a more distant future challenge that could completely alter our view of the world and the universe. Finally, some suggestions are made regarding how to prepare for the social and psychological challenges that we can expect in the future.
—Future challenges, historical change, present challenges, psychological isolation, social isolation, SETI.
Robert J. Taormina is with the Psychology Department, University of Macau, Macau (SAR), China (e-mail: Taormina@umac.mo).
Cite: Robert J. Taormina, "Social and Psychological Challenges of the 21st Century and Beyond," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 6, no. 11, pp. 884-891, 2016.