Mild dystopia is a word used to describe a society or mental state in which normal occurrences are not bad enough for complete rebellion, but jostle one enough to feel bad. In the case of modern society, taxes, traffic jams, bad telephone reception and living in close quarters are things that must be dealt with.
The society is not a complete dystopia, because if it was people would likely rebel and create another society. It's not completely utopia either, because a complete utopia is not possible at all. The idea of a mild dystopia is that it is just mild enough to live with, but not dystopic enough to rebel against.
One waits for a long time at the airport because they need to travel. They put up with the dystopia in order to get to a relative utopia of meeting their friends, closing a deal, or seeing a loved one.
A tangential question to ask when considering Mild Dystopias is
- How do Mild Dystopias happen?
- Are Mild Dystopias stable? How do they destabilize?
- Are they more likely to happen at scale?
- Does quality scale?
- What are the tipping points that, when out of balance, tend to rebellion?
- Do Mild Dystopias work because they are so nuanced?
Also see "I have no mouth but I must scream".