If you’re brainstorming ideas for your dystopian novel, some real-world issues can provide lots of potential scenarios for your fictional universe. While technology has made great improvements in the modern world, such as alleviating hunger and connecting more people than ever before through the internet, there are significant problems posed by these advancements as well. Some of these threats are even existential, threatening the survival of humanity itself. Here is a brief rundown of some of the most pressing problems faced by individuals and societies that are caused by the industrial revolution and all its associated technological growth.
An overwhelming majority of scientists agree that global climate change is real. It has even been predicted that some parts of the planet will be uninhabitable by the end of the century. Some estimates by researchers even indicate that if significant reductions in carbon emissions worldwide are not achieved within twelve years, irreversible damage will occur. It could be severe enough to result in the extinction of the human race and many other species. Today, many climate-change-related health issues are already plaguing the world’s population, most notable among the elderly and children.
The widespread accessibility of payment systems, as well as their easy use, has made commercial traffic on the internet a more attractive alternative to conventional cash or in-person transaction. In the US, for example, a third of all retailers have closed in recent years due to the loss of business to Amazon and other online outlets. High-tech criminals take advantage of these internet-based transactions, stealing credit card numbers and other vital data that they can use for identity theft. Although there are protections on payment platforms, they are not hackproof by any means. Social media facilitates cybercrime also, as people post personal data frequently online and send it using their email accounts. Identity thieves use a variety of tactics to steal critical information from going through the trash to phishing. You could take the repercussions of widespread identity theft to an extreme to craft a compelling fictional dystopian universe.
Declining Mental Health
The increasing use of technology has led to a disconnection among people that is sometimes difficult to express. Nonetheless, evidence points to the detrimental effects of the loss of interpersonal communication caused by online gaming, online dating, social media, and other popular technology-based activities. The study of the phenomenal connection between mental health and the online world is still in the exploratory phase, but much research points to a serious and alarming link.
If you use your imagination to create a fictional world where these problems are left unchecked, you’ll have the foundation of a great dystopian setting for your novel. Some of the best novels are more realistic and resonate with people because they can relate to the issues that the characters face. Any of the above situations can be the basis for a wonderful dystopian novel if you just approach them creatively.