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The Big Answer

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Clicking: 17 Trends That Drive Your Business--and Your Life

a book by Faith Popcorn and Lys Marigold

(our site's book review)

Faith Popcorn and Lys Marigold outline 16 trends they are forecasting for the future. This 1996 book updates her earlier trend book: The Popcorn Report. It predicts clanning, “. . . the inclination to join up, belong to, hang out with groups of like kinds, providing a secure feeling that our own belief systems will somehow be validated by consensus.” (Again, MCs are right on trend. We’ve felt for decades that the 21st century would see more people getting together with like-minded people for reasons of lifestyle improvement, friendship, childcare, and common interests.)

Their book needs updating to reflect the new Internet and cell phone and texting and IMing and emailing and—especially—social networking realities such as Facebook.

As always, she—and her co-author—provide the reader with especially insightful predictions and ideas. They suggest that virtual reality would be a great way to test various experiences out to see if you really want to experience them in reality. An example is having a baby to take care of. Here’s what a fellow named Richard Jurmain did that confirmed the Virtual Reality trend they foresaw: He invented a doll called Baby Think It Over, which is being sought by schools and clinics to counter teen pregnancy. It’s programmed to shriek and wail at random times night and day. “A weekend of this ragged ‘realism’ probably works better than all the sex education courses ever devised.” Amen.

Exasperated mom with crying babies—if only she'd used the Baby Think It Over doll!
Exasperated mom with crying babies—if only she'd used the Baby Think It Over doll!

They point out that people once cocooned for fun, for cuddling, and just generally to be with their families, but now people are staying at home for security and safety in a scary world. They’re scared. Workplace homicides are on the rise, as are school shootings. Private security firms employ over two and one half times as many people as public law enforcement services do.

They also outline a trend they call Communal Clanning. They say there’s already “. . . a new wave of collaborative communities, allowing you to choose ‘family’ members by common bond, rather than determining family by blood. . . . Co-housing . . . is finding acceptance here. . . . These places are like a return to small-town life, when you knew—and helped out—all your neighbors. Plenty of babysitters, someone to get your kid off to school if you have the flu . . . Often, for people who don’t have a mate or are empty-nesters, co-housing offers a way to Click with others.” One such clanner said: “The way we have been living doesn’t work. Due to the small size of today’s families and the scattering of families, our kids have no chance to experience the support of a big support system. We rarely see their grandparents and most of the elderly are treated like pariahs. . . We’re craving some deep, meaningful contact.”

They say “At BrainReserve, we think co-housing will Click in the decade and century ahead. In place of real estate agents, we’ll have Co-housing Counselors . . . who will match up would be neighbors or housemates. We’ll have Co-housing Clearinghouses on the Internet or 900-number phone lines, where people can post openings in co-housing communities and screen applicants. And maybe someday we’ll be watching the evening news on Election Night and hear reports on how the ‘co-housing vote’ is swinging. Because co-housing—and the tightly knit new Clans it creates—promises to be that big a phenomenon.”

As you can see, MCs (thought up in 1987—see Why Register for an MC?) are a prescient idea. But the above ideas have flaws which MCs correct: