The future wasn't supposed to be like this. There was supposed to have been only one great depression. Technology was supposed to have made it easier for humanity to pursue the finer things of life: research, space exploration, learning, altruism, and an endless stream of marvelous approaches to life.
There are, of course, different visions of the future. Not all Sci-Fi writers or futurists painted a golden futuristic age. There are enough possible dystopias to go around as far as those who like imagining negative visions of the future. The dismal world imagined in the Matrix film series is only one example of the worst possible vision for humankind. Might not the current obsession with experiencing reality via social network sites, as well as virtual reality programs such as Second Life, not be as close an attempt to live in the alternate reality of the world-within-a-world that is force fed into the minds of the sleeping masses of humanity that the Matrix films present?
Hopefully, things will return to normal in a year or two--or ten. If things continue the way they are now, and we somehow grow to accept that the future turned out quite differently than we imagined it would be, then how nostalgically we will long for the imperfect past of the 1960s or 1990s and their relatively golden prosperity.
Some religious individuals are gleefully celebrating that things are getting worse. They believe that the final prophecies are coming true and that a new order of things will be ushered in, after the grim realities that are just beginning to come to pass take their expected course. They believe that after the darkness seems to be gaining the upper hand, then the light of the new kingdom will make any momentary darkness worthwhile.
I, for one, have never been able to rejoice when bad things take place, no matter what good might come of it. I hope and pray that we can all continue living our lives of progress, plenty and possibility. In the mean time, I will keep my eyes fixed on the being that engineered all of reality, good or not-so-good. In the final analysis, whatever happens next year or next century is what he allows.
In the meantime, enjoy every breath, every ray of sunshine, every fragrant flower. These are gifts in good times and bad ones that God has blessed us with.