Outcasts in Society
I, like the other Outliers, live away from society. I don’t partake in the flashing lights. The myriad of automobiles. The noise of a million conversations being had. The shitty advertisements following you as you walk the streets unless you close them, only to be followed by another a minute later. The bullets constantly being fired at you by schoolchildren engulfed in their little digital wars. The undeniably beautiful faces that are generated on (and paid for by) every self-conscious person that walks by. The hundreds homeless people on the sidewalks obscured by a modern version of ad block.
We stay away from all of that. We try to live naturally. The most advanced technology we allow ourselves are laptops and smart phones, from the 20’s. None of the newer models that hook into AR. We tell ourselves that it’s mostly for peace of mind, but I think there’s also an element of feeling left out. Some people seem so happy using AR. They share their stories multiple times a day, changing their faces to be a dog or a cat, and transforming their dumpy studio apartment into a magnificent garden with a waterfall behind them. Sometimes you will see them out at a party or a bar and every person’s face will be transformed to be the avatar that they have selected on their device. Cheetahs, giraffes, wrinkly old men, little babies, nightmarish creatures, or even old presidents like Obama and Trump. And everybody always seems to be having the time of their life! Partying the night away, meeting new people, and creating amazing memories. It makes you feel lonely, sitting there in your apartment in your underwear, prepared for another night of binge watching a show that you’ve already seen a hundred times. Although it is interactive, and it never gets old punching that one dude in the face to see how he reacts and how the storyline changes on the fly.
But at a certain point, most people will see it for the guise that it is. On one hand, there are the modifications people buy, like Smile+ and PartyMoments, that makes it look like everybody around you is always smiling and having a good time and doing wacky things that make for great video moments. But even if that weren’t the case, if you were to go out and experience it for yourself, you would find that you probably won’t have as good of a time as these people make it out to be. They are salesman. They are selling themselves in a sense, looking to gain popularity and notoriety or even just some confidence. And like any good salesman, they make the actual thing seem better than it actually is.
So, we let them live those lives. But we don’t want any part of it. We sit on our lawns outside of the city, which we have to cut and water ourselves, since they aren’t hooked up to the smart lawn grid. We pay the extra fees to drive our cars manually, instead of jumping into the thousands of self-driving Uber cars you see whizzing past. We call our friends or video chat them instead of letting them invade our space by stepping onto our lawn in AR space. We live simple. Away from it all.