An Alternate Universe

I’m supposed to lie today. Or change the end of a story. I am literally sitting here looking around the room while I’m binge-watching House of Cards trying to figure out if I want to change the end to Red Riding Hood or if there’s some other fib that I could make up in this space and in this Challenge to write 500 words each day for 31 days.

Seriously. Five minutes just passed and Claire now wants to be the Ambassador to the U.N. Where did this come from? And what story am I going to change? And in the midst of this pondering, this story line on Netflix is about to get way more twisted.

Time to get to it. See, I’m not good at this. Terrible poker face and terrible poker writer. We’re already at 136 words.

I think I’m going to go Alternate Universe on this one. That was an option.

Let’s talk about a world with no smartphones.

Unintentionally, we respond to the ding of our phone in a way that would make Pavlov’s dogs embarrassed. So that’s why I decided to go this direction. I’m guilty as charged when I’m near my phone. I have to intentionally leave my phone somewhere else.

In a world with no smartphones, we live without having to feel like we answer to every beck and call from the work world. 9-5 is truly nine to five. We spend time at the dinner table looking at each other and talking to each other about what happened today. Our children don’t fight for our attention when we feel like something in an app is more important than their little hands building something new.

In a world without these devices, we don’t sleep restlessly because we have a difficult time putting our phone down once the lights go off. We don’t Fakebook we don’t needlessly rant on Twitter. But information is slow to move. It takes time to learn of uprisings in foreign countries. We don’t have the ability to share knowledge and make strides in curing cancer as quickly or catching criminals on the lam.

This world is filled with people enjoying each others company and talking about the things we always like to ponder but never have the time anymore to discuss. How to perfectly hard boil an egg. What the latest movie out is all about and do we really love the plot or not. For more than just 10 seconds and for more than just a few comments on social media.

This is a world where there is a lot of consideration and personal connection. But it’s a world that has little progress. There’s a lot of love. But little sharing of genius. There is peace. But there is no way to communicate easily with someone a world away after an earthquake.

An alternate universe– one we will never know. That’s because progress brought us here and will only move us forward with new devices and new distractions. Were we better in 1985 or are we better now?