Five years from now, there's a knock at your door. Who would do such a thing to you?
You tap your iPad Pro to pause the two television shows which are simultaneously streaming side by side. Both series are highly regarded by a lot of people, so by default you feel certain that they are overrated. You've been paying just enough attention to spot superficial things that you might be able to complain about on an internet forum.
With a voice command you pause your television, which is displaying a cheesy tv movie by the name of HurriCranes or MeteOrcas in one corner of the screen while devoting the rest of its real estate to three social media apps and a livestream of someone playing a video game that you think you'd probably hate.
You quickly finish the last words of a scathing Instatwitter post about everything you've been vaguely watching, then hit send and put your smarter phone down. You genuinely expect that people will be impressed or at least entertained by this offhand comment you put no real effort into.
The knocking continues.
You stand up. Your movement is restricted somehow. Cursing softly, you remove the Oculus Rift 2 from your face. As always, you experience a moment of disappointment when the high res virtual reality version of your apartment is replaced with the real thing.
As you take a step toward the door, your Kinect sensor helpfully scans your vitals and determines an ideal advertisement to project in the air directly in front of you. You stop, unable to pass until you have answered the McDonald's clown's three riddles and sworn fealty to his cause. The Xbox One awards your compliance with an Achievement, then passes a 3D recording of the last ten minutes to the NSA and its advertising partners.
The knocking continues.
Your Google Glass notices that you are moving. It calls upon a global database to plot a path to your front door, snaps a picture of what you're looking at, then emails it to you for the heck of it.
Concerned about the suspicious amount of activity you have engaged in over the last few minutes, Glass activates your personal drone to assess the situation. You assume a relaxed posture and remind yourself not to allow either hand to form a fist by accident. The drone is for entertainment purposes only, but it will fire with deadly force if its operators are 51% certain that you are sort of suspicious.
Your iWatch emits a light electrical shock that courses through your body. This alert lets you know that the built-in footstep calculator has passed a new milestone. The sudden jolt shakes your arm, dislodging a Kindle which drops to the ground. As you instinctively bend over to pick it up, an anti-Kindle falls out of your shirt pocket. The two devices snap together and vibrate with a series of breathy moans. In a few hours there will be nothing left but a pile of dust. For now, the Kindle and anti-Kindle are dutifully swept out of the room and locked up in a cupboard by a small robot made specifically for that one task.
The knocking continues.
You reach the front door. Its display flashes red. Before using the door, you must agree to a new End User License Agreement, which requires you to log in to the manufacturer's website, create a new account, and fill out an unreadable captcha form.
Seven minutes later, you finally open the door. No one is there. The knocking persists. That's when you remember the automated door knocking device that you scheduled to have installed today. As you turn around, a wave of gadgets knocks you down to the ground. You are pinned, suffocating.
"What have we done?" you cry in an odd moment of philosophical detachment. "Everyone who distrusted technology was right all along! We've gone too far!"
You try to stand, but a device that was specifically made to prevent you from getting up won't allow it. This cements its position as the worst Christmas gift you have ever received, even if it was on your wish list. As a self-propelled drill burrows into your neck and mines for Bitcoins, you understand that this was clearly the only possible outcome of humankind's obsession with technology and progress.
How can you be certain? Because the This Terrible Technology-Related Outcome Was Inevitable implant in your brain has confirms it as your vision fades.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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