| At the Corner of Technology and Culture

How Soon Is Now?

Sending a note to yourself in the future is nothing new.  We’ve long called a voicemail message to home, or made use of some of the many ‘send me a message in the future’ online services, such as Future Me.  Consider, though, (via Crunchbase).  The premise is that you can message yourself, or others in your social network, at a specific time, up to 50 years in the future.  Your mother (provided she’s in your social network) could message you five years from now with updated reminders to make sure you’re getting enough protein.   The project imagines such uses as a parent sending messages to a child in the future, when that child is the same age as the sender is now.  Another feature lets you sort of future blog, where you write things that will be read in the future. (Don’t we always write things that will be read in the future?) Or you can use the post-mortem feature, to send messages after you’re dead.

I actually had to spend a fair bit of time looking at it to figure out whether it was ironic, an art project, or a serious social networking cum messaging service.  Such is the nature of our time-shifting existence that I find it increasingly difficult, really and truly, to tell whether something is A/completely absurd or B/ a great idea.  Is this of a piece, say, leaving a letter with a lawyer to be read after you’re dead? Or is a difference in kind….a sort of proto-time travel?

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