EMOTICONS

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A future scenario when smartphones read minds , the chaos it would create and why it will not affect me

 

EMOTICONS

I came across a news story that smart phones are coming up with a new app that will disclose the emotions of people by reading facial expression. All the smart phone owner has to do is point at the person and be privy to their innermost thoughts expressed through emoticons perhaps.

I can imagine the chaos this will cause. No one will dare answer questions like “Am I looking fat?”, “Do you love me?”, “Where were you?”, “Is there someone else in your life?”, “Are you married?”, “Will this target be achieved?” or “Do you understand?”

You can imagine the various emoticons that these questions would generate. A host of new emoticons will have to be introduced to do justice to the range of emotions that will have to be captured. But the results will lead to general mayhem.

Once this portable lie detector is common, there will be fewer marriages and many more divorces. Attritions in jobs will shoot up. Business deals will fall through. Fewer candidates will clear interviews. Law suits will skyrocket. Suicide rates would treble.

It may also lead to new dress codes and social norms. Burkhas and veils will make stunning comebacks and become community and gender neutral. Smart phones will be banned in restaurants, parties, political meetings, job interviews, performance appraisals, budget reviews, dates, marriage ceremonies, condolence meetings and farewell parties. At Will readings it would be permitted as it would be too late to change anything by then.

We can also visualize scenes at social gatherings when the appearance of a smart phone would have people diving for cover with greater alacrity than the appearance of a handgun. The pose immortalized by Manoj Kumar of speaking from behind a palm covering the face will become universal. Dark glasses will be ubiquitous, both indoors and out, day or night, in all seasons.

While the rest of you will be making these necessary changes in attire, lifestyle, and social intercourse in order to save your relationships, jobs and sanity, I will remain blissfully unaffected. The coming change holds no terrors for me.

This is because I suffer from an affliction, or more of a genetic defect that makes this catastrophic change irrelevant to me, in much the same way that a visually challenged man is unaffected by sudden darkness.

You see, nature or the almighty already had a version of this app hardwired to my CPU, making me the exact opposite of the poker face. I have an embarrassingly transparent face, and every thought and emotion gets reflected on my mug as if on a display screen.

This has affected my life in many ways. Teachers never believed my reasonable excuses or not bringing my homework or being late for school. Women gave me a wide berth. I could not borrow money with promises that I would return it next week. I have never played poker or teen patti. No one would partner me in bridge. Performance appraisals and budget meetings were a torture for me. That my marriage has survived so long, even if by the skin of its teeth is a major miracle. I do not need to delete messages and call history from my phone on an hourly basis like the rest of you guys. And, contrary to expectation, I have a brilliant track record as a marketing man as customers have no need to check back on facts and deals get closed super fast.

I therefore, am waiting with gleeful anticipation for the bold new times, when you all will suffer as I have all these years. I will soon be the only guy moving around boldly, face unveiled, no dark glasses, staring at smart phones in the face daring them to do their worst, while the rest of you creep around, shaking at the sight of shiny objects peeping from others palms pockets or handbags and jumping every time anyone reaches into their pockets or purses.

Aphorisms are always  true, Every dog Has its Day.

 
 
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