Tribal Society

Before the Agricultural Revolution, people lived in groups of a couple dozen or so.  As hunter-gatherers, they moved around when the local plants and animals were exhausted.  Key qualities are strength, endurance and assertiveness.

The Agricultural Revolution

After people realized that you could put the seeds back and in the ground and have them come back every year, Staying in one place to protect the crops made more sense than just trying to find food.  Domesticating animals also made staying in one place a good idea.  But you don't need a whole tribe to take care of your farm.  You can take over your parents farm and let them raise the young kids, while the older ones do the chores.  The extended family was the right size.

Industrial Revolution

Droughts and pests could kill many of the families on farms, but after the creating of cities, starving farmers and children with too many brothers to get a good piece of the family farm could move to the city.  The factories in the city needed cheap labor.  And the factories churned out cool new stuff for the people in the city to buy.  But... You did not need an extended family for factory work.  One strong worker made the money, and a wife cleaned the house, made the food and raised the children.  The nuclear family became dominant.  There was no place for grandma, and that lead the Luddites to try to stop the revolution.

Computer revolution

After Word War II, women got a little bit of equality.  They were being educated in coleges. They had proven themselves as factory workers and pilots during the war.  There were famous women in science, business and politics.   And in the new high-tech companies there were roles where a women could support herself.  So when a woman's husband leaves her or when she needs to leave an abusive husband, she does not need to get remarried to support her children.  And in all the complicated ways that nuclear families can fall apart or never get started, single-parent families were born.  Today, over a third of American families have only one parent. 

Are you seeing the trend here?  With each revolution, the families are getting smaller.

Virtual Families - Phase I

With the high connection made possible in virtual reality, It will be each to have meaningful connections with  people who are far away.  You can stay close to your sister for your whole life.  You can add a coworker to your family,  But you don't have to marry anyone.  You don't have to have children.  You don;t have to be in the same city to support someone.   Families will grow around people who feel close and support each other.  The virtual technology will allow them to be with each other all the time, even when working.

Virtual Families - Phase II

At some point, the computer will be able to simulate people so well you will not be able to tell the difference.  Maybe some of the members of your virtual family don't actually live in any city.   You feel lonely, and want a husband, but you can't find anyone you can stand for more than a week, ... Just buy one. Virtual Husband 5.2 does everything a real husmand does, except, he is never in a bad mood when you are.  He never forgets your aniversary.  And if you don't like his jokes, a few minutes a the confiburation panel will fix anything.   Virtual Wife 5.3 is perfectly willing to grow red hair down to her ankles and never makes you wait while she spends 2 hours washing it.

But you are thinking that there are some things that you just can't do in vituality?   It will all be there when you are ready for it.