A vending machine that sells Instagram likes. A robot vacuum that maps your home then possibly sells said map to advertisers who want to help you furnish your sparse living room. Babies on Instagram. Babies with Instagram. Restaurants designed as Instagram playgrounds so you can take the best Instagram of your life while you eat. A summer camp to turn teens into the social media influencers of tomorrow. Selfie sticks designed to look like lifelike human hands so you never have to—gasp—seem alone.
Welcome to the 21st century.
From how we date to how we sleep, technology has profoundly changed our lives. And while these artifacts of modernity could easily be passed off as “so 2017,” isn’t it more than that? A better description might be that it’s all very, very absurd.
At a time when 40 percent of the 7.425 billion people on Earth now use social media, and 67 percent use mobile phones, it’s crucial to take a step back and acknowledge how fast the world is changing. And how strange it’s become.
That’s why we’re launching Modern Absurdity, a new section of Thrive Global where we’ll be curating the strange, decidedly 21st century things that epitomize “the way we live now.” From around the web and the world, we want to hear from you and find the humor in some of today’s strangest trends and tools.
Tell us your thoughts about dating in virtual reality, the newest way the online world is seeping into our lives offline or your take on the newest inexplicable selfie-trend. Tell us what you think about the ethics of posting photos of your children on social media (or, as a Millennial or Gen Xer, if you would sue your parent for doing so), or how you feel about your DNA being used as data storage when we run out of cloud space.
We look forward to carving out a space for the oddities of living in the 21st century and giving us all a chance to reflect on our tech-driven world. We hope to provide an outlet beyond feeling [insert sad emoji] when you see a couple texting instead of talking over a romantic dinner or watch someone meticulously stage a french fry for a photo. Instead of letting our current ways make you feel depressed about the state of society, you can recognize it for what it is— absurd.
Join the conversation here.