The connected home, neurotic fears
In a lucid state between nightmare and reality I screamed out “There’s someone in the house” which at 4 am woke the house up in quite an alarmed state. In this ficticious nightmare, a truck driver had stopped outside, entered without breaking the lock on the door, raided the fridge and taken the CCTV recording box as he left. Not one to gender stereotype, I know it was a he from the fact that he left the toilet seat up too.
Yes, this is a brief glimpse into my subconsciousness, or perhaps the result of binge watching the latest series of Scott and Bailey. Anyway, as I went about the day ahead a supplier I’d been liaising with who designs intelligent connected house systems sent a follow up email, you know that hard sales pitch of “here have a catalogue but I will pester you incessantly until you buy” type situation. Due to a family members involvement in high security situation a decade ago, my laptop at the time had been hacked by a foreign government party to record and monitor me. I had no idea, until I did, and I then I was furious – I have a blog, I share everything anyway! After ceremoniously destroying the device I became a little cautious around technology. Well, perhaps neurotic.
As I scroll back through the integrated digital home catalogue I feel swept up in the ease of it all – motion sensors, lights that react to movement and timings, floors which heat according to room use. Ohh it all sounds so, integrated. A part of me wonders what those back office government nerds could have done with the information gathered from my home all those years back. They would have full visibility on quite literally everything, including every conversation or word muttered if I were to fold and indulge in a Home Digital Assistant that listens all the time for keywords for instructions to play Smooth Jazz or tell me whether I need to put on wellies or flip flops before going out.
Too neurotic? Perhaps, well, certainly according to Andrew who is chomping at the bit for a digital entry system so he never again has to worry about running with a set of keys.
I can’t shake the idea of what a reality nightmare could entail. My mind falls into a dark space, during a Yoga Nidra session in the nearby town and I find myself envisaging a scene where I’m mowed down by a robotic hoover, the skylights close pulling the blinds down at the same time, feeble cries for help are misinterpreted as commands for Smooth Jazz on super loud, the vibrations from the deafening soundtrack are interpreted as an earthquake, putting the house on lockdown and hours later after neighbor complaints, the police force their way in to find my corpse in the hallway half mauled by a vacuum cleaner and the whole thing being streamed to an external government agency via the internal CCTV who are all gathered around a screen fitting in laughter and stuffing popcorn into their faces.
The melodic tone of my yoga teachers guided meditation jolts me out of that lucid nightmare and back to her calm guidance “as you walk along the river, you hear the gentle babble of a stream…”
Forty minutes of meditation later and the mind quiet I shake into consciousness. The drive back to Pointers End is blissful, through the fields and towards the iconic ridge line. I get out the car as it starts to rain and fumbling through my gym bag to find the keys I wonder about that keyless entry system...