Family of the future

Self-proclaimed ‘family of the future’ takes technological advancement to a newer, stupider level

The world is advancing in new and exciting ways every single day and, sometimes, it feels like it’s all moving too quickly. But for one family of four, the future can’t get here soon enough. In a northeast suburb of Seattle, Jack and Margot Claymont live in a world that resembles a science fiction story more than present day life. Widely considered to be, “America’s Most Technologically-Advanced Family,” by a host of completely out-of-touch tech enthusiasts and industry insiders, Jack and Margot, along with their lovely children, Daniel and Emma, take scientific evolution very seriously. They’ve invested their money into some of the world’s most cutting-edge, experimental devices, but money is just money. These folks have taken it dozens of light years further. They’ve devoted more than just economic resources to these experiments. They’ve devoted their lives.

You may think that a family so enthused and committed to futuristic gadgetry would be a tad….off, possibly even little weird or awkward, but you’d be wrong. They are, in fact, incredibly weird and impossibly awkward. That fact is apparent within the first moments of meeting the family, all of whom are adorned in identical, metallic outfits. It doesn’t take long to realize something’s amiss. Jack is a small man, but his voice booms. Adorned in a thin, plastic helmet with a clear, glass visor, he wastes no time in describing what he calls, “personal advancement implements,” or, “PAI,” for short.

“This helmet, made of all-natural, tree-based latex, connects directly to my brainstem and records various things,” he boasts. “It tracks emotional responses and reflex reactions, like how many times I blink in a day. It also alerts me when I’m hungry, which comes in very handy,” he exclaims. “I often forget to eat while researching the endless stream of helmet data I collect. Those blink statistics are beyond fascinating!”

Though the helmet looks like a Cracked Magazine mail order toy, its features are impressive. It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Jack being legitimately intrigued by a daily blink count, however. Collecting entertaining data is one thing, but most people aren’t boring enough to enjoy such meaningless information. Knowing something just because you can, doesn’t mean you really need to know it (kind of like a Kevin Hart movie spoiler). So, what is the point of all this? Margot is quick to answer.

“This is how we improve, as a species,” she chuckles while pointing to a small incision scar on her wrist. “This chip is connected to our home through an advanced, wireless network. It communicates with every inch of the house and knows when I’m preparing to do something. When I step into the shower, it turns on, with the water at my desired temperature. Every single time, without fail. I never have to think about showers again. In 50 years, everyone will have this technology, but I’m first. I’m the pioneer. I’m amazing in that way.”

Boastful statements are commonplace with the Claymonts, as you soon realize while chatting with them. But, their smart home gadgets are far more trivial than revolutionary. An internal, microchip-based system that alerts you when someone hasn’t fully flushed a toilet is fine and all, but it’s not changing the world. A beep inside your head that warns of an overflowing pot on the stove is helpful, but if you’re too busy to keep an eye on dinner, should you really be cooking in the first place?

If you think these electronic toys aren’t important, though, leave it to the children to try to sway your skepticism.

“The radio in my teeth connects to Spotify and plays all my favorite songs,” Emma Claymont proclaims. When she opens her mouth wide, the faint drone of a Taylor Swift song gushes out. To be fair, it’s pretty astounding. A tooth radio? Wow. But, when you stop being impressed and think about the actual value of such an invention, you’re quickly left shaking your head. Mercifully, Emma starts talking over the pop playlist and continues. “When you have a cavity, the signal gets weaker,” she happily proclaims. Wow, again.

The proud parents smile and nod as their oldest daughter beams with idiotic pride. Emma smiles back and nods her head to the Bruno Mars single that bounces around inside her mouth.

In this era of technology overtaking our everyday lives, some resist its ever-strengthening grasp. Others embrace it. But, there is a small section of modern society that goes the extra mile into a strange, sad electronic environment. They attach themselves to the network and feel proud of its hold over them. Ironically, they gain prideful power from their growing dependence on machines. Scientists have warned us that those machines may one day rule the world. For the Claymonts, that day can’t come soon enough.