The Future of You Being Lame on Facebook

I just read The Future of Us last night and wrote a Goodreads review (2 stars) but realized there was still more I wanted to say about it. Here is my expanded review!

I really wanted to love this book--I love the premise. High-school junior Emma logs on to AOL for the first time in 1996 (using one of those CD-ROMS that came in the mail, remember those?) and sees her future Facebook page. Thinking it's a computer virus or something, she calls her friend Josh over to look. Once they determine that this is real and not a glitch or elaborate prank, they both become obsessed (wouldn't you?) by the details of their future lives, which change based on even the small decisions they make now. Emma's future self doesn't seem happy, so Emma is frantic to change her trajectory, whereas Josh is blown away by his future (rich and married to the most beautiful girl in their high school) and doesn't want to do anything that might jeopardize it.

I'm the same age as Josh and Emma, so I enjoyed the references to "life in the olden days" (Scrunchies, Discmans, figuring out this whole "World Wide Web" thing). I also liked the way the authors address the idea that your future is always static, and that ultimately we need to make the choices that make sense for our current lives and choose to be happy now, rather than moving so rigidly towards what we assume will be our perfect, happy future.

I think part of my problem with the book was Emma. If I were her, I would be LESS concerned about who she marries (in her future she keeps being stuck in what appear to her younger self to be loveless marriages) and MORE worried about not becoming the annoying whiner FB makes her out to be. Judging by her future updates, we have:

Texting & surfing the Web on her phone while driving
Complaining about her spouse & airing their dirty laundry
Really vague posts meant to invite questions (haaaaate)
Using the word "hubby"
Choosing the "It's Complicated" relationship status
Still loving "Glee" in 2012, after the show stopped being any good

I now need to go look at my Facebook page and see what my 16-year-old self would have thought of it all. Off the cuff thoughts:

  1. Oh my gosh, I don't get married until I'm almost 29?? I did go to BYU,  right? What on earth went wrong? Was I in a coma for 8 years? Cute husband, though.
  2. Curly hair? But the bangs and the long hair that takes 50 minutes to blow dry straight was really working for me!
  3. Um . . . what's with all the F-words? And how is there even such a thing as a "Mormon Feminist"?
  4. Look at all these pictures! I must spend a fortune developing film!
  5. Knitting? Okay, granny. Everyone knows cross-stitch is where it's at.
  6. I lived in England? Twice? Okay, that's awesome.
  7. Librarian? Wow, looks I really embraced that spinster track, didn't I . . . 
  8. Wait, DEMOCRAT??? Why, did something happen to the Republicans?? (Answer: kind of)
  9. Wow. I have the two most beautiful boys in the entire world. I'd better get going if I'm going to have 4 more.
What about you? What would your teenage self think if they saw your Facebook profile?  


Sherry said... [reply]

My teenage self would also be surprised by my political/feminist leanings.

And I'd be surprised to see that I am not rich. That was seriously an ambition of mine when I graduated from high school. I wish I were kidding.

And I'd be incredibly surprised to see that I still reside in Utah. Why haven't I returned to Texas yet????? (Fact: Grown up Sherry has no desire to live in Texas.)

Nemesis said... [reply]


So Sherry, how did you plan to GET rich? Because I would be interested in that information.

Jenny said... [reply]

I would wonder why I bothered to get out of Alaska just to live in another place with snow and mountains when I was supposed to live out my life in a warm, tropical place. I would be super relieved to find out that I got married because it would mean that I would one day get to go on a date. Also, I'd be really surprised I was friends with my dad. That was so not ok in high school.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Jen, you also married a blond white guy instead of someone from the Polynesian Cultural Center. But I suppose that's ok--Aryan poster children aren't just gonna make themselves!

Brittney said... [reply]

Haha I love your teenage thought process about marriage and BYU!

People airing their relationship dirty laundry on fb make me SO uncomfortable. Or airing their clean sparkly laundry and making us all choke on their cloying perfumed softener is pretty bad too.

Brittney said... [reply]

My teenage thought process would be:

1. I got married, phew!

2. I can't believe that beautiful little girl is my daughter.

3. I've been married for 8 years and only have one child to show for it? Either we had fertility issues or I am not as righteous as I used to be...

4. I got my bachelor's degree and had my dream job? Awesome. (but where are all the babies?!?)

5. Feminism. Cool.

6.I support gay rights and petitioned for women to pray in conference???? Not possible.

6. Why aren't there more posts about how in love I am and how I have the best husband/marriage ever and how grateful I am to be in such deep love, all posted while in the same room with him?? How will people know??? We must not really be in love.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Brittany, I'm super uncomfortable with the dirty laundry stuff too. It's like they are trying to shame their partner into acting better by getting the entire Internet involved. Not mature.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Oh shoot, sorry I misspelled your name, Brittney! And your #6 made me snort.

Kelly said... [reply]

Wait. I'm a lawyer?! What the...?

Also, I'm really into working out. That's weird.

Also, I didn't get married until I was 31 and I still don't have any kids. What is WRONG with me?! (All teenage insecurities come roaring back)

Nemesis said... [reply]


Kelly, heck YEAH you are a lawyer. BOOM.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

(A) Six boys is a lot. Good luck with that.

(B)"Sort of" is the best you've got for the Republican party???

I know. I know. It isn't that kind of post.

Nemesis said... [reply]

STM, the window for 6 kids has passed. See above re coma during peak childbearing years.

Monica said... [reply]

I would be wondering why I wasn't a Stanford (or at least a BYU) graduate and a high-powered attorney. Also, where is my housekeeper? (Actually, I'm still wondering where my housekeeper is.) I would be appalled that I live someplace as cold as Logan and would assume that I must be miserable in such a hellish climate. (Well, since it's January, that part is not too far off.) And I certainly never would have expected to be living in a small town! Life is strange....

Saxon said... [reply]

my teenage self would probably think the following

1) you're into your 30's and still not married.
2) He got married before you??? Really?? Really?
3) We're into photography now?? What happened to the toy models
4) we hang around with actual models a lot now don't we?
5) Hmm, we hang around with a lot of beautiful women and still single. Nice to see the universe still likes to mock us.
6) You go to dances now and dance.... just how screwed up is the future?

Bebe McGooch said... [reply]

My teenage self would just be relieved that I finally got married, and had some kids. Then she would wonder why all I do is take pictures of my kids and post them on Facebook.

Sadly, she'd also be horrified by my dress size, and how I let myself go. Haha. Oh, youth.

Nemesis said... [reply]


Monica, I support the housekeeper plan! And is your house even IN a town? It just seems on a mountain of its own to me . . .

Nemesis said... [reply]


Saxon! Hi! Also, "2) He got married before you??? Really?? Really?" That one made me laugh. I've been there too.

Nemesis said... [reply]

@Bebe McGooch

Bebe, I hear you. Mine would wonder where my chin went. And then I'd probably smack her and say something like, "You took your senior pictures hugging a plastic tree,, so you can shut up." Also, your teenage self would probably die at how cute your boys are.

Liz Johnson said... [reply]

I think I'd be really disappointed in myself, honestly. I had big plans to live in a big city as a heart surgeon. And I'd be like "I got married at 21?! And now I'm stuck in the midwest as a stay-at-home mother of four?! Who cares about childbirth?! DID THE MORMON CHURCH SUCCEED IN BRAINWASHING ME AS I HAD ALWAYS FEARED?!"

hahahahaha. :) It's a good thing I'm pretty dang happy with my life, despite my plans for other things.

Barefoot Cassandra said... [reply]

Wait, I got divorced?! But Disney Princess / Elizabeth Bennett / Anne Shirley-esque girls, who earned their young women's medialian should have happily ever after.
Ohh, but I do look happy.
And I like running?? Weird.

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