Everyone wonders when the next groundbreaking device will be debuted, like the iPhone and the laptops of the past. But, whilst reveling deep in the archives of my favorite show, I stumbled upon the untapped potential of the future of human communication. Introducing, from the geniuses of Colbert Labs, the “Bucket.”
Taking “living vicariously” to a whole new dimension, Stephen Colbert tours Times Square using FaceTime and an iPad, able to interact with his fellow New Yorkers without actually being anywhere near them. Of course, remove the physical aspect (and any potential threats/reason to be cautious) and he manages to cause quite a ruckus in typical Colbert style.
So what’s the significance here? Besides just being hilarious to watch, the Bucket illustrates the increasing trend of technology to create a world in which we are “connected but alone.” I have an iPhone in my pocket (albeit an iPhone 4, so it’s almost more useful as a paperweight), a laptop in front of me. I could text my friends in mere seconds, chat online with people on the other end of the globe, and yet I get none of the benefits of actually being in the presence of other humans. None of the camaraderie, none of the satisfaction, none of the sense of belonging.
But I use this form of detached communication constantly. I’m not standing on a street corner reading this to a crowd of passing residents- hey, there you are in the back! I post this onto the website, figuring, “Hey, someone must read it.” Indeed, there’s a strange satisfaction from the phenomenon, from being able to be me without having to be me. I can speak, joke, and interact on a chat server without having to take my body language, my facial expression, my appearance, their facial expression, that knife in their hand, that twitch in their eye as they demand my wallet again, and so on, into account. Hey, will you stop interrupting my crocheting story? We’re just getting to the good part, Jimmy.*
We already fight the war on terror with drones, what’s to say one day our cities won’t be filled with people, but drones with iPads strapped to them? That way we can interact with our fellow drones from the safety of our bunkers via webcam, and never have to face the dangers of the outside world again. Plus, if you don’t like how your neighbors are letting their side of the hedges get all overgrown, you can just turn the key to arm your Crusader missile and even them up with precision strike capability. How’s that for collateral damage, Hendersons?**
You, in twenty years (just add an iPad).
And to any who object to this idea, I’m not saying you have to agree with me. But be warned, my drone holds an awful grudge towards people like you. It goes to the gym three times a week, if it’s not pretty enough for you, then maybe you just don’t understand its cold, mechanical, calculating heart. There, there, buddy, someday you’ll find somebody that loves you for you. I hear Amazon has a cute new prototype in its aerial delivery program. Well, how am I supposed to know what she’s into? Fine, don’t even try! Why do I even bother?***
You heard it here first, drones with iPads that show your face are the future. So the company that’s smart enough to seize on this genius before the others owes me a bit of compensation. Still don’t believe something so ridiculous is truly the future of human interaction? Just wait until the pizza delivery drone is menacing you with a missile as you fumble about for a tip. Don’t test him, he’s had a long night behind that keyboard.
*WARNING: Do not attempt to tell crocheting stories to armed muggers (they never appreciate them)
**WARNING: Do not attempt to trim hedges with Crusader missiles
***WARNING: Do not argue with emotionally unstable drones that double as killing machines
(This was one of my more organic attempts at satire. Yes, satire. I hope you’ve figured that out by now, but one can never be too sure. I’m just a dude with a keyboard and some spare time, not a crystal ball/horoscope that ever makes any sense. Though I fear something scarily similar to what I’ve described will eventually replace us as interacting beings. Who knows, maybe even my dream of drones with iPads could come true!)