Grandpa and Technology


"The devil would like us to believe that technology is for our good." John's grandfather Pat shouted out aloud, only to have nobody listen to his witticism.

Pat had avoided the mobile like the plague until something very much like the plague struck - covid.

Out of loneliness and due to pressure from his younger 91-year-old neighbour he gave in and got the curious palm shaped device where the world had buried itself.

After a few uses, he found himself seduced by technology and it upset the principles he had instilled himself during his 95-year-old existence.

He called up his least annoying great grandchild to vent.

"John, this technology is evil."

"Grandpa how can it be evil? We're miles apart but we can have this conversation."

"I don't know John, sometimes I think it is the gadgets controlling us rather than the other way around."

"Funny you should say that, today I got these cool shoes that my friend's startup is creating. They can gauge your mood and in case you're not happy, they'll make you do activities to make you feel pleasant like go for a walk to release endorphins, go buy your favorite desserts."

"That sounds horrifying! what if I don't to be happy? What if I want to be happy but don't know how to achieve that? Are you saying a machine knows me better than myself?"

"It's not that deep grandpa. It just takes you on fun little adventures that might perk you up." John sighed.

There was a long pause on Pat's end as he looked at the empty hall of his house.

"Send me a pair."

"What? I'm sorry I think I didn't hear correctly."

"I want to try these shoes and I'm determined they won't win me over."

John laughed.

"I think my friend will send you shoes and record your reaction for sure."

The next morning John looked to see a parcel at his doormat. It contained the normal flimsy footwear this generation seemed to favor.

He turned the shoe upside down, shook it, but no electronic demon came out. He tossed them to the side near his doormat.

The next morning as he sat with a bowl of cereal, he turned his eyes towards the shoes, as they lay innocuously on the floor. He passed them 10 times before finally picking them up in the afternoon as he sighed at the empty house.

The shoes transformed once he wore them. They became snug fit and stuck to his feet. He could feel the power emanating from them. Without any notice, he leapt forward, and the shoes were in full control of his legs.

"Darn technology! I didn't even update my will."

He stopped and looked at the world which had changed in the past 3 months. He could feel the crisp air of his youth as it caressed his cheeks. The grass was greener towards the side he walked on. People sat alone on park benches, not looking at phones but enjoying the bright blue sky. Looking down at his shoes, he gave a wry smile.

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