by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright March 2017
There comes a time in many people's lives when they feel they have accumulated a lot of stuff. This can be the result of a good luck windfall, years of hard work, or because of some other good fortune. The question that then comes up in that person's mind is, "What do I do with it?"
When the answer is some form of, "Hide it and save it for a rainy day." plus "I need to hide it real well because there may be some spooky hard times coming soon." then some form of prepper thinking is coming into play.
How will this instinctive thinking manifest itself in the 2050's?
Prepper thinking has been around a long time, but how it manifests itself changes as times and technologies change. There are Biblical stories of people hiding gold, and when I was growing up in the 1950's and 60's this thinking style made news as people built bomb shelters in many different ways to protect themselves from nuclear war. In the 21st century these have evolved into safe rooms. In addition to news stories there have been steady streams of fiction stories about people building shelters to protect themselves from all sorts of social storms. An enduringly popular example is Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.
How to protect is quite sensitive to the technologies available, it is trendy. This is why the term used to convey this style of instinctive thinking changes steadily. The term "prepper" is only twenty years old.
This means that prepper thinking and activities in the 2050's will be different from those engaged in in the 2010's.
More people will be living in big mega-cities in the 2050's. This means prepper-style activities will be adapting to high-rise apartment living. Some people will be spending time and resource on building their safe areas in rural settings, but most will be developing safe rooms that are close to where they spend most of their time. This means high-rises are going to have safe rooms.
The question becomes: are the developers going to build them in as a feature of what they are offering, or are the tenants going to take this on as do-it-yourself (DIY) projects? It will probably become a mix of both because many people who want safe rooms also want them to be secret.
In the same thinking vein, what the safe room is equipped with will vary a lot because the people doing the equipping will want to keep that secret as well. But conversely, because this is also a hobby, people will want to talk about this equipping with fellow hobbyists. There will still be plenty of conventions and other meetings centering on prepper activities in the 2050's... but the name for these activities will have changed again.
Prepper thinking is instinctive thinking. It will still be around in the 2050's and lots of people will be engaging in it. But how to express this instinctive thinking is trendy, and in the 2050's there will be a lot more people living in high-rise apartments, so prepper activities are going to express themselves quite differently than they do in the 2010's.