Change. It’s the zeitgeist buzz word and heavily overused slogan used at every tenuous opportunity. And no one has any idea what it actually means. It’s just important to say it countless times in the hope that we forget that, yes, it is changing, despite the deeply nagging sensation that it is not for the better.
So as we applaud the spin on the new era, here are some considerations on what ‘change’ might have in store.
Reality TV and Talent Shows have taken over the box. Narrative drama and story arcs are slowly becoming extinct from the terrestrial TV network schedule, being confined instead to the online fee-paying platforms such as Netflix. Apparently, what we all really want to watch instead is some C-list celebrity we’ve never heard of eat their way through a meal of live insects, and then swap the debris in a shocking hidden-camera smooch with another equally indifferent recipient.
Each show is now in a trading war of how extreme and offensive they can go to attract an increasingly desensitised audience. So perhaps by the end of the decade Death Race 2030 will have replaced Top Gear, and The Hunger Games will have replaced the Olympics. Fair game, as long as they use social media stars as contestants.
Our lives are now irrelevant if we don’t upload every exasperating detail of our day to the social media weapon of our choice. Famous for 15 Megabits. It’s all in the vain hope that we’ll be so liked, followed and friended that we’ll transform into an influencer, and our lives will suddenly be filled with meaning and purpose. We can then inform the masses 24/7 of our enlightenment with the support of all our well-meaning sponsors.
It’s the digital breeding ground of the megastars of tomorrow. Our kids are all watching someone, somewhere… who’s watching something from somewhere else and making random, unscripted commentary and judgement for the education and betterment of their fans in the last dying embers of human interaction. One thing is for certain, regardless of what we’re watching, the Raving 20s is ringing the death knell of the living room.
Social interaction appears to be highly overrated by the next generation. The advent of the smart home, virtual assistant and multi-device household has laid a carpet of dust over the antiquated TV and viewing couch. Common ground is a thing of the past. How can a Dad compete with Alexa when he hasn’t the foggiest idea who the latest music prodigy is that his teen is obsessing over, let alone how many hours, minutes and seconds he has left in the state penitentiary?
We can’t even eat together anymore because everyone in the Twenties family has different food preferences, beliefs and intolerances we never knew we had until the advent of the information superhighway. Thank god for Google. Or is Google god? At least this deity responds on request, although you have to feed it lots more of your time and attention than the last one.
Apparently, we don’t realise that, according to modern ethicist thought, the word ‘pets’ is derogatory to our animal cohabiters. That’s what they’re all whispering about behind our backs when they have that slightly unnerving, scheming look in their eye. Animal Farm is now upon us, unless we all start calling them ‘companion animals’. And we’re not simply owners any more, we’re ‘human caregivers’.
Perhaps this is the decade we’ll all become companion animals to an invading alien force that got attracted to our little rock by all the incessant sonic debris we’ve been sending them. I’d invade us out of pity just for the constant stream of Kardashian drivel alone. We’d make great pets, minus the refusal to go walkies without a smartphone.
It’s official; artificial intelligence is finally taking over the world. But not in an endearing way like your 1950s style household robot complete with pinny, nor even an exciting one, as per the Terminator franchise. It’s all a bit more conniving and underhand.
If the previous decade was governed by the Internet of Things (IoT), the 20s is set to be superseded by the Intelligence of Things, where 5G speedy networks and artificial intelligence will intrude, monitor and manipulate almost every facet of commerce and culture.
From unmanned transport, digital health, to home security, we all better pray for an uninterrupted power supply.
Not this decade buddy, unless you’re reaching your centenary.
As we get older we tend to moan more and more about the hot weather, and with global warming on the ascendance, it’s not faring well. So what better way to end all this madness than to disappear into a human-sized cooling box for the remainder of the decade?
Here’s to the Raving Twenties.