A Technological Utopia:
The date is April 25, 2035. It is my 40th birthday. This morning I got a hologram message from a friend saying that her and her family wanted to have my family and I over for a birthday dinner. Our new holograph machine is a lifesaver. My husband just got it for me a few weeks back as an early birthday present. When someone wants to send me a message they record themselves speaking to me, my machine sends a vibration to the ring I wear, and I walk over and listen to the message when I can. A 3-D image pops up of the friend who is sending the message, and if I want to respond I press a little red button and record myself sending a message back. I absolutely love it! The kids and I play with it all the time. So much more personal than that whole text-messaging thing I used when I was a teen.
Last night, the president made a speech and it was available for broadcast to those of us with holograph machines. The president may as well have been sitting in my living room, speaking to me one-on-one. His approval rate has gone way up because of the new personal level of his speeches and addresses. Our government is doing great. They are constantly thinking of new inventions and they fly off the shelves like hotcakes! (I saw an ad just this morning for a new hybrid hover car! It might be time to upgrade mine!) The economy is booming and my family and I have honestly never been better. I get 40 days off from work a year, but make more money than I would ever have dreamed. I am an attorney, and I get to work from my bedroom via the online courts. My husband works from home too, so we get to spend virtually every second of our lives together.
Since it is my birthday, it is my day to relax. I am looking forward to lying down on the couch and watching a movie. These days, movie theaters don’t exist. As soon as a movie is finished being filmed, it comes right to my smarTV and I get a notification. The smarTV Company bills us a flat extra rate per month, and we get as many movies as we’d like. So simple! They haven’t eliminated those pesky ads and previews before the movie yet, but I don’t mind. Every time I sit down to watch, I press a button with my name on it built into the couch, so the smarTV knows that it is just me watching. Notes of my interests are made, and only ads that apply to me are played.
After my relaxing movie afternoon, we will head out to dinner. We are going to my favorite restaurant called Tables. We are greeted by a small robotic device telling her which table we are to eat at, and the floor lights up with arrows for us to follow over to the table. This is such a great alternative to dealing with those fake-perky hostesses who walk over to the tables way too fast. We sit down and the speakers around the table greet us. Our menus are electronic so we order from the touch screen that doubles as a tabletop. While we wait for our food to come, a variety of game options sponsored by popular companies pop up for the kids to play on. Perfect for us to get some adult time!
Realistically, not much is different from the way it was in the year 2013, when I was a teenager; I just consider our society much more advanced! We are still bombarded by advertisements and underlying messages urging us to buy products. The good change, however, is that the only ones shown to us are ones that are explicitly relative to our lives. Thinking about the technologies that were popular in 2013 almost makes me laugh. Our world is so much more of a better place than then, and I wouldn’t want to change a thing. I can only imagine how much more advanced things will be in forty more years when I am eighty!
A Technological Dystopia:
The date is April 25, 2035. It is my 40th birthday. You would think I would have woken up to something nice this morning. A breakfast of pancakes, coffee, and a shower of happy birthday hugs from my kids and husband. Nope. They don’t even realize that today is the big four-oh. I stumble downstairs and start making eggs a homemade, well-rounded breakfast for my kids. I carry the plates over to them and my oldest shrieks that she wanted to have yummy bites for breakfast. Some sugar-coated cereal that the kids are begging for because their favorite musician eats them. My youngest doesn’t even look up from his iPhone 12 long enough to thank me for breakfast; He digs right in. I hate that the kids have iPhones. They are six and eight. I didn’t get my first cell phone until my thirteenth birthday. But, when Christmas rolled around my husband insisted that we get the kids iPhones because he didn’t want them to look like the loser kids, and he claimed it was a one-stop-shop kind of present. It emptied every last penny from the family savings account, but I didn’t feel like fighting it.
Even though it is my birthday, I still have to work. I make the long haul to the office in my glitchy hover-car. Everywhere you turn there is some sort of advertisement. They’re honestly quite dangerous! I, personally, get distracted by them all the time, and have seen so many hover car accidents because people get too absorbed in the video-style billboard ads. They should probably be outlawed because they are so distracting, but the government doesn’t even care because these technologies are how they make their money.
My boss never has to come into the office. He lives on some island. However, he is always watching us. Cameras are wired over each cubicle and he has the capability to override our screen less computers screens and yell at us face to face if we do something wrong. I wish I could quit. I wish I could be a stay at home mom like my own mother was, but we just need so much money to get by these days; I have no choice but to work 60-hour weeks. I slave away at the office under the watchful eye of my boss who is most likely sitting on a beach with nothing to look forward to at the end of my day. Traffic is terrible, the kids are never excited to see me, and my husband gets home even later than I do. Our dinners are always bland. I get home so late that I don’t have time to cook meals, so I am forced to succumb to the MicroZap machine that everyone advertises for. The food comes out of a freeze-dried baggie, you add water, and put it into the MicroZap. It is done within fifteen seconds, like everything else in this world, and, to me, tastes like nothing. The kids love it because they think that it is the latest and greatest.
That is all anyone cares about: having the newest electronic devices and having money, and I am sick of it. Everywhere I turn something is being pushed on me and the kids are as ungrateful as ever. They must think money still grows on trees. You’d think they would realize that my husband and I both spend the bulk of our days working in such awful work environments in order to provide for them, but they don’t. They always “need” this and “need” that or else they will be the “loser kids in school.” I never want my children to feel like they can’t have the things that they want, but I can’t help but think about how when I was their age, I did not get everything that I wanted.
I hope they appreciate all that we do for them when they have their own kids, but I doubt it. By then, no one will appreciate anything.