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A list of ways our society is already like Pixar’s dystopia in WALL·E

It’s been eight years since the film about the lonely robot was made and already its vison of the future is coming true.

Often it’s the films that don’t try to predict the future that end up doing so. We don’t have Back to the Future’s self-drying jacket or “Jaws 19”, but we do have Airplane II’s full-body scanners and The Simpsons’ presidential-candidate-Donald-Trump. Pixar’s 2008 hit animated film WALL·E falls somewhere in between. The movie acted as more of a warning than a prediction – reminding us all to pick up our rubbish and go for a jog lest we end up fat (and for some reason, sockless) blobs on a collosal spaceship  but already many of its dystopian visions have come true. 

And guys, it’s only 2016. Eight years after the movie was made and 789 years before it was set, we are living in Pixar’s future (except, again, for the socks thing). Here’s how.

The Earth is a giant landfill

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Thought this was going to be a fun read, did you? Saw a cartoon robot and thought we’d all be having a laugh? Wrong. Every year humans produce 2.12 billion tonnes of waste, with the majority of it going into landfills, or worse, the ocean. Although UK recyling rates have risen steadily, countries like Romania still send 99% of their waste to landfills. America’s largest landfill, Puente Hills, is over 150 metres tall and covers 700 acres. 

Adverts are all around us

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Although it’s hard to uncover the exact number of adverts we’re exposed to a day, experts have traditionally guessed at anything from 300 to 5,000. Online advertising only excacerbates this, as in 2012 Google revealed they had served an average of 29,741,270,774 ad impressions a day. 

Especially right in front of our faces

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WALL·E’s floating holographic screens aren’t common, but they do exist. What is exceptionally common, however, are adverts plastered on our screens and in particular all over our means of communication. The number of advertisers on Facebook tripled from one million in 2013 to three million today, whereas Skype users are surrounded by adverts in much the same way as in the picture above. 

We’re expected to work for longer and longer

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Despite the ”fat is bad“ theme underlying everything in WALL·E, our enormous future selves seem to live for a very long time. This wall of past captains shows that humans in WALL·E are expected to work for over a hundred years. Sound familiar? Although the state pension age was 65 for men and 60 for women for many years, from 2020 both genders will be expected to work until 66 and retirement age will adjust for life expectancy after that. 

None of us are having sex

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A study released last month shocked the world when it revealed millenials are barely having any sex. Although sex is unsurprisingly not a key theme in WALL·E, a titilating scene where two humans touch shows that bodily contact is highly uncommon. 

But we love robots in bras

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One in five Britons would happily have sex with a robot, although there is no word yet on whether they saw this picture before being asked. 

Drivable chairs are now a thing

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A quiet word with all inventors out there: if you see something in a dystopian film, maybe don’t make it. Unfortunately, Toyota didn’t get this message as in 2012 they debuted their drivable chair, or rather, sorry, ”Personal Mobility Concept“.

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You can totally get one of these

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Which is a plus, at least. Here you go

Lunch in a cup is becoming more popular

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No, we’re not talking about your cheeky lunchtime pint. Future food is already here, with Huel, a powdered food replacement, gaining popularity this year. The brand claim to have over 40,000 customers in over 50 countries.

 Robots can heal themselves

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A study in 2015 revealed that certain damaged robots could fix themselves and adapt to their injuries. 

This man is called John

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It’s comforting to know that no matter how far humanity falls, there will always be men called John. 

Amelia Tait is features editor at Shortlist.com, she was previously the New Statesman's tech and digital culture writer, and tweets at @ameliargh.