It seems like the direction of change in our society is at least partially, in some cases, determined by the way we believe it is going to change.
For instance, there seems to be this consensus that future humans are going to use a lot of sophisticated AI and live in space or on other celestial bodies. It started as a vision by a few influential sci-fi writers (as in Asimov’s “The Last Question”, or Star Trek), became a vision shared by lots of sci-fi writers, and may be becoming a kind of assumption among people in general.
If there was a popular genre of sci-fi in which future societies always lived under the ocean, and government agencies and cutting-edge private companies who developed the means to live under the ocean received a lot of media attention, then advances toward living under the ocean would be highlighted. Kids would get excited to some day contribute to that effort. And at some point in the future, that is indeed what we would end up doing.
TL;DR: narratives are self-fulfilling.