The Future of Us by Jay Asher
The gist of the book is: It is 1996, and internet was still on dial-up and quite a rarity in homes. Facebook and other means of social media won’t exist till 8 years later. Imagine, just imagine – having a glimpse of your future Facebook profile (and also a peek into your future life) in 1996.
That’s what happened to Emma and Josh, long time best buds and neighbours. Josh handed the free AOL CD that came in the mail to Emma. And when she installed the CD into her brand new desktop computer, she discovered Facebook. Her own life – 15 years into the future. At first they both thought someone played a joke on Emma, that someone painstakingly tried to scan her old (current) photos and make up this website just to see where the joke will go.
But of course it’s not a joke. Not when one of the photos in this Facebook thing is still in an undeveloped roll of film! Fancy that!
Emma quickly discovered that each time she logged on to Facebook, her life changes (well she doesn’t understand that some people change their Facebook status 20 times a day). And she quickly made the connection that what happens in present day will have a ripple effect on her future life.
And this is where she gets slightly irritating. She keeps stirring up the future just because she doesn’t like what she sees in Facebook. She finds fault in every detail (not thinking that it could just be a bad day in the future, and that it doesn’t really reflect her life) and thus keeps changing it. But the more she changes things, the “worse” her future becomes.
After awhile, I felt like smacking her. But then again – I was turning 13 in 1996. And I didn’t have a computer or the internet till I was 15. But if I had discovered my current Facebook profile back when I was 13, I think I would get a culture shock.
First of all – WHY IS MY HAIR SO SHORT? (all my 13 year old thoughts will be in ALL CAPS because teens think in CAPS)
13 year old me has really, really long hair and she never imagined ever being allowed to cut it. Doesn’t matter that my cover photo was taken last year in present time – she would still get a heart attack seeing this photo.
Secondly, WHY DON’T I HAVE A JOB? DID I TURN OUT TO BE A USELESS PERSON? (AND WHY AM I ALWAYS IN NATURE? AM I HOMELESS?)
(actually present day me just doesn’t like putting her work and education information in the social space, except for in Linkedin – because that’s what it’s for)
And most importantly, I’M ACTUALLY IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH SOMEONE FOR ALMOST 9 YEARS? ME? UGLY ME? (I had serious self-esteemed issues at 13 OK? And thanks to the Timeline feature, she knows what year it is at present) Also, at 13 I couldn’t imagine being with someone for a day, what more a year. And the fact that I actually look quite cute (if I should say so myself) So this would be a shocker.
I really wonder if I’d seen this at 13, would it stop certain things from happening? Would I then avoid being bullied and mocked at for the next 4 years of secondary school? Would it change things?
But then had it not happened as such, I may not be able to say “I’ve never dated Malay guys before” today. I would not have met my first 2 boyfriends (both of whom set the foundation to my love life in my teens) who were definitely not Malay and I may not even be with FP right now. So I guess everything happens for a reason.
So there you go. That would be my reaction if I had seen my current Facebook profile back in 1996. How would you have reacted?