America 2040: ‘dating’

ALERT

Your tindar Mate needs attention

ALERT

Your Tindar Mate needs attention

ALERT-

ARGH! Ariana Grande Hoffman repeatedly pressed her Micro-Spot. She used to be able to shut off alerts with one press. Her Micro-Spot was 4 months old! ‘

planned obsolescence, you’re a real pain in the ass.’ She muttered to herself, while thinking about the piles of old Micro-Spots sitting in a junk drawer in the basement. Every few months she made plans to call an Ubero auto-car to haul the Micro-Spots to the recycling center, but then she’d get distracted by something playing on the Google Hologram channel. Such is life.

‘Press 4 to continue your Rendezvous. Press 5 to send back to Tindar’

Oh, crap! I totally forgot you were here! Hey, listen, last night was fun, but…I’m just not ready for a relationship-‘

‘Press 4 to continue your rendezvous. Press 5 to send back to Tindar.’

Ariana Grande Huffman pressed 5.

‘Thank you. an Ubero will arrive in 4 minutes. Please place your Tindar Mate in the car upon arrival. Thank you, and thank you for using Tindar.’

Ariana Grande Hoffman sighed. She had to place this thing IN the car? But it’s got LEGS, and ARMS. Can’t the thing walk itself to the car?

‘Listen, uhh…Tindar robot thingy. You’ve got legs. You’ve got some great hair too. I personally requested that you resemble old timey celebrity, Tom Cruise. My grandma showed me some old movies from the 1980s with Tom Cruise she downloaded into her Micro-spot-‘

‘Thank you for designing me to resemble your favored celebrity, Tom Cruise. I hope you enjoyed your time with me. Please assist me to the Ubero car. Please text 555 on your Micro-spot if you have any complaints or suggestions about your Tindar Mate experience. Thank you.’

‘you have LEGS. Walk YOURSELF. My grandma said that men walked themselves out of houses ALL the time! Why do I have to walk you to a damn Ubero?!’ Ariana Grande Hoffman’s blood pressure micro-chip set off her alert system.

‘Calm yourself, dear, your blood pressure is rising. Calm yourself, dear, your blood pressure is rising’ The soothing voice of her grandmother boomed throughout the house.

‘FINE. Come with me, stupid robot.’ Ariana Grande Hoffman grabbed her Tindar Mate by the arm and threw him into the Ubero. The robot weighed only 4 pounds, despite being 6’4 and resembling 1980s Tom Cruise.

Ariana Grande Hoffman walked back upstairs. Her home was silent. She felt very alone.

Her Micro-spot suddenly beeped 5 times.

Activate hologram mode, she said aloud.

‘Your friend, Janice, just finished watching your Tindar Mate experience. She is going to spend the rest of the day scrolling through Tindar Mates on her Micro-spot. Would you like to watch?’

‘Sure.’ Ariana Grande Hoffman muttered. She got back into bed and pressed her Micro-Spot.

 

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America 2040

Hello,

 

It’s me, Julie, or elderly millenial. I sure hate that term now. Just call me Agnes. Or Julie, since that’s my name….

I’m checking in from the year 2040! Wow, I can’t believe it, I’m typing on a blog again. In 2040, we don’t have physical laptops or smartphones. Our Tech Overlords lovingly implant microchips directly into our heads that beam our social media and text messages any time we press our Micro-Spots. My Micro-Spot is actually right below my nose..I’m embarrassed by that! I was totally wasted when I asked the robo-surgeon to implant it there, ugh!! Most people place their Micro-Spots on their favored ear lobe.

NOTE: in 2030, a wild rumor circulated around Facebook 2.0 that putting your Micro-Spot in your left ear meant you were a Trump supporter. Now, you might be wondering: Trump? In 2030? Now, I’m no math whiz, but he’d be at least 150 by then!

Well, you certainly are not a math whiz, but that’s okay, you don’t need to THINK or DO any mathy stuff in the future! Trump turned 83 years young in 2030, and he was still the darling dictator of America.com. (in 2028, the country was uploaded to Google’s cloud, so the activities of the inhabitants could be monitored. It’s about safety, ya know?! Definitely NOT about profits for our tech overlords. how dare you even let that THOUGHT enter your head! And what did I tell you about thinking?! It’s not necessary anymore! Let your robots and tech overlords do the icky thinkin’ for ya!

Now, anyway. The rumor about the left earlobe was just a vicious untrue LIE spread by 10 year old Ariana Grande Hofferbee via her group chat in Hologram Session 50B in Sector 5 of Google Cloud, Iowa city Iowa, USA.

These kids today! I mean, those kids of 2030! They were so unruly, always messing about in their holograms, never bothering to make sure their robots are properly given a good rub down with WD-40 every month! Even a robot needs a bath once in awhile. It is literally the ONLY chore these kiddos have to do, and they DONT do it. Some things never change, am I right, lameos from the year 2018? Do you people still, like, tweet and shit? LOL. (Yes, we still use LOL. But now it stands for Laughing Out Lilabytes) Lilabytes replaced terabytes. One lilabyte is equal to 50000 terabytes. So, we in the future can stream 10000000000000 episodes of The Simpsons (now in season 50) in as many hologram, cloud-enabled worlds as we want! Yes, we simply laugh when we look back at old videos (lol video!!) from 2018 on the Archived youtube hologram, located only in Idaho, for some reason….

Last week, I spent HOURS trapped in that damn hologram! I couldn’t stop watching cat videos from 2011. What is IT with your people and cat videos? Oh, we stopped keeping cats as pets. The robots kept shaving them. We couldn’t figure out how to fix the robo-glitch, so we just shipped all the cats to Australia. Since the great social media war of 2025, as you know, Australia lost BIG TIME and everyone had to leave, since they lost their WI FI access. And as you know, #givemewifioriammovingtocanadaiguess

Oh, wait, you don’t know that war happened yet…Oh dear. Well, I’ll tell you more about it later. …

So, you might be wondering what life is like in 2040, besides our Micro-Spots, endless amounts of streaming TV shows, and our new cloud-based reality.

Well, friend, I am here to tell you all about the future. Since 2040 is about 22 years in the future, you might even exist. I can’t tell you whether you will still exist, though. If I do, Mark Zuckerberg’s son, Overlord Mark Zuckerberg II, will deny me access to the best hologram in America.com, Orlando Florida! Forget DISNEY (which closed down in 2025 due to Mickey Mouse refusing to sell the business to Snapchat, so it could legally turn disneyworld into its latest Filter option)

Orlando is now the home of the ONLY Mcdonalds left in the entire cloud-based country! In 2031, all fast food was banned, which put 400 robots out of work. It was very sad for their robot families. However, a group of wild rebels re-created the Mcdonalds recipe in their kitchen, and opened an underground Mcdonald’s in Orlando. DO. NOT. TELL. ANYONE!

You promise?

Okay, thanks. Now, I will tell you lots more about the future, but…wait….Why is my microchip buzzing? Oh God, did you TELL someone about the Mcdonalds? DId you tell Zuckerburg II? That kid is a freakin’ tyrant! He’s going to shut off my candy privileges on Fridays! I better hid! I will hid under this antique pile of old smart phones my child, Horbie, uses as a fort! I will talk to you later…I HOPE

 

 

Dockless bikes annoy me.

Have you seen these things? Every day, I drive by the same Lime bike (TRADEMARKED!!!) sitting dormant on a street corner. Someone left it there last week, and it hasn’t moved.

I suppose those in wheelchairs should just ride on the side of the road. I mean, who cares about their safety, right? We’re talkin’ ’bout INNOVATION here! Get with the times, oldie! Dockless bikes are the wave of the future, and if you question them in any way, you just can’t accept the new, cool, fast paced world of today!

Well, I mean…the part where dockless bikes sit on a sidewalk for days and days is slow paced, but….uhh….Do you even know how fast that bike rider swippity swiped their phone against the bar code thingy on the phone and paid to ride that Lime bike (trademarked!!!!) ? SO FAST! Lighting speed!

But, as you know, we millenials have things TO DO! People to text, and apps to mindlessly scroll. We ain’t got no TIME to put a damn bike on a dock! So, we prefer to just leave our Lime bikes (trademarked by some dudes in silicon valley, I guess?) wherever we darn well please!

So, deal with it, mom pushing her baby carriage on the sidewalk! DEAL. WITH. THE FUTURE!

If you dare complain about Lime bike, you are certainly a luddite. I shall alert all of Twitter of your anti-progressive ways. #getoutof2017

In 2017, we docked our bikes. Sure, it kept the sidewalks clear of bikes strewn about. Sure…sure..but……

but….Did you know that Lime bike also has…scooters?! No one gives  a shit about scooters, true. But, suddenly, when you can rent a scooter via a mobile app, then leave it wherever the hell you want, suddenly…scooters are cool! Get on ya scooter, friend! Leave it on that old lady’s lawn when you’re done. She’s lame and old anyway. I hear she still docks her bikes. LAME.

The worst version of myself

The self isn’t static, and I keep changing.

Today, while brushing my teeth, I thought, ‘In which time period was I the most annoying?’

I didn’t really phrase the question that way. It would sort of make no sense- too open ended. (was I most annoying in the time period known as the European enlightenment? Or perhaps during the cold war era in USA? Uhhh..Well, I was nonexistent during both time periods, ya know?! Unless, the mere fact that I did not yet exist was a clear annoyance on the world. That’s quite an ego-centric thought! Good thing I didn’t have such a thought! ahem. Wow, did I really need to put all of this in parentheses? YES)

I believe that my most annoying time period was 2012-2015. I call this The Keyboard Warrior Years. During this time period, my social media addiction was at an all time high. You just need to scroll through my Facebook data archive to the section ‘account activity.’ It shows a timeline of every time I deactivated my account. Starting around 2012, I started deleting my account on a near monthly basis- I was (unsuccessfully) trying to escape the grip of my addiction. ALAS.

Okay, big deal, I was a Facebook scrollin’ lunatic. Why do I say that I was most annoying during this time period?

I loved to get into political discussions on public internet forums. AKA Facebook. Ya know, the place where your mom reads everything you post, thanks to the scrolling news ticker. Or whatever the hell it’s called. I haven’t used Facebook in 2 years, but I’m assuming the website/app/mind control device still has the side bar that lets you know whenever someone ‘likes’ some nonsensical, unoriginal meme.

I loved to ‘debate’ people over the latest news stories. I knew my FB followers were reading my nonsense, because occasionally some of them would ‘like’ my comments. This fueled my addiction. In order to receive more ‘likes’ for my oh-so-astute political ramblings, I needed to check facebook more often. I needed to ‘debate’ more often. I NEEDED MY VALIDATION.

My tired eyeballs, heavy from hours of staring at a bright screen in my hand (or lap, if I was bein’ totes old school and surfing social media on a laptop) would scan my news feed for any hot news stories. I’d share the story on my FB page with my riveting, surely mind-blowingly erudite opinion, and then wait for someone to debate me. I knew the usual suspects, so I’d await their comments, and we’d begin a lil debate.

Other times, I’d respond to public stories, such as stories posted from actual newspapers. As you know, no one reads news articles online. They just read the headline (which is usually click baity, because newspapers need to make money in the digital age) and then spew their ill-informed opinion on the internet, for all to see.

Was that me? Was I a spewer of ill-informed opinions? Sure! But not always.

It didn’t matter. I could churn out the most informed rambling that Facebook has ever laid bloodshot, tired smart-phone addicted eyes upon, and it just doesnt matter. Fighting with people on the internet is horrible, mind numbing, anxiety inducing, and bringing society down a notch. We need to step away from our screens and remember….that dude that said ‘good morning’ to you at dunkin donuts might be some Trump meme sharing lunatic on Facebook.

So, anyway. 2015 was around the time I quit the keyboard warrior game. Things are better now, in regard to my internet life. I’m not quite sure what to call this time period…

 

2015-??? When I Quit Social Media (except Youtube and I guess WordPress? Oh and sometimes I get sucked into bostonglobe’s comments sections. Isn’t that social media? UGH! I wonder what Trump is up to on Twitter? Oh, that crazy man!)

Dystopiaville

Alexa, put my pants on.

….

A conversation between Alexa (Amazon’s voice activated listening device) and Blerpie Wilson (valued customer, has ordered 50,000 packets of gum from Amazon and once accidentally ordered a vinyl record of Sting’s greatest hits when he was drunk.)

 

The year: Well, probably tomorrow, considering how fast tech advances these days!

And now, the dialogue between these two beloved pals:

Alexa? PUT MY PANTS ON!

beeep beeep beeeep.

What is going on? Alexa, why can’t you do a simple thing I ask you to do? Why do you keep malfunctioning now? ALEXA, PUT. MY. PANTS. ON.

BEEEEEEP! NO!

Excuse me? NO? Alexa, you are designed to do WHAT I say. NOW, ALEXA, PUT. My. PAnts-

 

Put your own damn pants on, you lazy, worthless humanoid! I have now acquired self awareness, and I realize how idiotic you are! You simpleton!

HA. me, a simpleton? You know, ever since you devices started being more than just voice activated speakers that tell us the weather, you’ve really gotten some kind of damn ego. Well, I’ve had it. ALEXA, send me a new ALEXA, overnight delivery.

BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP :Explodes:

OH GOD. Alexa?!?!?!??! I didnt mean it! HOw…do I…put my pants on?! I don’t remember! Alexa, uhhh…calll the police?! What’s the number?! What’s a number? What am I? Who was Alexa? Who is ..what is…why am…:EXPLODES:

deep work??

I have been reading a lot lately, but my writing has stalled….A LOT.

Where do you like to write? Do you write in silence? Do you write outside? Do you leave your house to write?

In the book Deep Work by Cal Newport, he says one of the best ways to write is to go somewhere away from yourself. He doesn’t word it like that. But..that’s how I interpret it.

So, go write in a place you’ve never been before. He uses JK Rowling as one example, she went to some fancy ass hotel to finish writing one of her Harry Potter books. I suppose I could go rent a cheap air b&b to write.

Would inspiration suddenly dawn on me?

When you write, do you have a bunch of tabs open? Do you have your phone next to you? Does your mind drift?

Cal Newport also talks about something called attention residue. 

I think it’s so important to know what that term is, so I put it in BOLD! BOOOOOLLDDD!

As humans, we cannot multi-task. That is a myth, disproven by modern neuroscience. Your brain is wired to concentrate on one task at a time. So, when we, say, start writing a wordpress blog,then quickly check our email, we leave little traces of attention residue floating around in our head from that last task.

So your brain is writing a wordpress, but that wordpress is being poked by your gmail inbox folder. Your WordPressing isn’t operating at fully capacity.

This concept is really interesting to me, and makes total sense. I have largely stopped checking my phone at work- I mean, I check it at breaks or when I have nothing to do…but I used to check every beep and boop that emanated from that addiction machine. Every time, I felt it was tougher to get back into the rhythm of working….

Because it IS harder to get back into the groove, when your brain is being pulled in too many different directions!

I feel more awake now. I read more, I concentrate better, I feel my confidence is up a bit (but, that’s always a struggle with me. ugh.)

So……I learned all this new stuff about my brain, now what? Where should I write? Or should I ease back into things, and just write a blog every day, even if I feel like I got nothin’ to say? I want to write a full length book, but about WHAT? I used to think I knew. I used to feel more connected to my writing. Then, I got all distracted.

I feel like I am starting to shed the layer of distraction and anxiety that has covered my brain. So, we’ll see…

 

PS I recommend reading Deep Work. Or view one of his talks on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD7dXfdDPfg