New social trends will emerge as US reacts to recession

Cheryl Swanson

Survival of the fastest' has been a driving socio-cultural macro trend since the late 1990s. Characterised by technology becoming our personal sustenance, it affects all levels of western culture and is rapidly infiltrating the developing world.

Twenty years ago, the annual US spend on food and beverages was $614 billion; $2 billion was spent on computers – a ratio of 300 to one. Today, that spending ratio is at parity. We spend as much on technology as we do on our nutritional needs and our lives have been radically transformed.

We find ourselves living at the 'speed of technology', ever more productive and connected, but also disconnecting from our biological rhythms. While we have managed to adapt to 'living fast' over the past decade, we generally feel depleted.