We recently ran a question poll at Bambu to understand how people think about the future. We all have our personal intuitions about the future, of course, but does everyone feel the same?
Well, we asked 138 mostly random people from around the world and found out many fascinating things that largely went against known stereotypes and our intuitions.
NOTE: This wasn’t intended as an academic study to be published, so forgive any statistical or methodological oversight on my part. This was for user research, and helpful as such. Oh, and why is Bambu interested in the future, to begin with? Well, we’re trying to predict it. No, I’m not joking. But more on that some other time…
We think of the future as the next few years
Without getting too pedantic, I think it makes sense to first establish if we’re talking about the same thing. After all, the future is constantly happening to us at different timescales. It also depends on which future you think about, such as the future of the world or the human race. But here, we’re asking about your future. For the sake of the questionnaire, it’s helpful to see most people agree on a timescale of several years.
People think about the future more than you’d think
Well, since it seems we all think about the future a lot, I suppose it’s natural to assume other people do too. But people are weird like that, we all think we’re special little flowers that have interesting ideas and thoughts.
Interestingly, here we see some clear differences between the genders. Only one in four men think about the future every single day, but 37% of females do exactly that.
I got money on my mind
I suppose it’s the reality of western capitalism that we all worry about money. The questionnaire did allow respondents to enter their own answers. Nobody added happiness, which is a little sad, but equally telling that regular people are grounded in regular realities of a living wage, however big or small that wage.
“You and I got to do for you and I.” — Outkast (Git Up, Git Out)
In some sense, it’s nice to run little experiments like this, that are anonymous, because you see the pretences drop immediately. Ain’t nobody out here healing the world, it turns out.