The Blinks And Winks

I ran into my cousin Bob the other day and he wasn’t staring down at his phone, which made me suspect that something bad must have happened to it, because he’s always staring and poking at his phone. “What’s going on, Bob?” I asked.

“I’ve given up my phone! I found something better: the new social media app Blink! It’s fabulously much cooler than Facebook, or Instagram, or any of the others. And you don’t need a phone to use it!”

“How is that possible?”

“They just insert a tiny microchip into your brain. Kind of like the chip we all got from Bill Gates with the Covid vaccine. Hey, just kidding! Really, it was no more painful or complicated than when I got my ear pierced at the mall. They took this staple gun thing and shot something into the back of my neck and then signed me up for their services. And because I’m a beta tester it was all completely free! Now, wherever I go, my brain is hooked directly to the internet. Only it’s a much better connection than my cell phone network was. Blink is not just next level, it’s a quantum leap from a 5G network. It’s on the 5S network.”

“What does that stand for?”

“5S is the Five Senses. All your senses are plugged directly into the senses of every other user on the network. So you can post your own perceptions, and experience the perceptions of any of the contacts in your feed. The first service I tried was Blinks.”

“What’s that?”

“Blinks is the feed for anything you see. But it’s not a two-dimensional photo feed like with Flickr, it’s more like what you might experience using virtual reality goggles, but you don’t need goggles! For three seconds you get to see exactly what any of the people you follow are seeing. It’s just like being there with them, inside their eyes!”

“So, if you were following me, kind of near-sighted. But why for only three seconds?”

“I guess the algorithm Blinks uses has determined that’s the optimum attention span of most of its users. Anyway, once you get going with this you don’t have time to dwell on any single Blink because there’s an endless stream of Blinks to glance at. Plus, you want to be posting your own Blinks to your followers. It’s so much fun to see who likes what you see.”

“How can you tell?”

“They Wink at you. And once you get enough Winks you can advance to the next level of the app. That’s called Stinks. With Stinks you can smell whatever anyone else is smelling.”

“You mean like roses, fresh baked bread, that kind of thing?”

“Yeah, people do post those smells, but it seems like other things are much more popular.”

“Like what?”

“Well, the most posted smell on Stinks this week is farts. Dirty feet are also quite popular.”

“Maybe they should call it Kinks.”

“It is a bit kinky. But once you get enough Winks on Stinks you can go to the next level of the app: Thinks.”

“Let me guess, you get to experience what your friends are thinking?”

“Exactly! But only for three seconds. You just get a little taste of what’s going on in their minds, and then it disappears. It’s similar to having an epiphany, or when you wake up in the middle of a dream and you almost remember it, but not quite. There’s no feeling like it, really, and you can have one Think right after another. Someone once said that you can never know what another man is thinking, but that’s no longer true. Maybe you can’t remember the thought, but you can know it.”

“What happens once you’re done Thinking?”

“Then you can go out for Drinks. You actually experience what other people are tasting.”

“For three seconds?”

“No, Drinks last for five seconds. One of my favorite people to follow is my friend Arturo, the sommelier. He’s constantly tasting fantastic wines, ones that I could never afford to buy. So not only do you get to taste these perfectly aged Grand Cru wines, but you get to taste them with his taste buds. And he’s a supertaster, which means he has twice as many taste buds as an ordinary human. Tasting what he’s tasting is kind of like having the mouth and tongue of a superhero. Of course, it does make you a little jealous when you have to go back to tasting grocery store wine with your own taste buds. But if you want to get a buzz, you still have to do your own drinking.”

“Let’s see: Blinks, Stinks, Thinks, Drinks. What’s next?”

“Fingks. That’s where you can feel whatever anyone feels with their fingers. Blink is also working on versions of their software that would allow you to feel with other parts of your body, but I think they’re going to be X-rated. I imagine that’s where they’ll make most of their money.”

“Don’t they have an app for the sense of hearing?”

“That one is still in development. They want to call it Ringks but apparently they can’t roll it out because of issues with copyright infringement. I guess if you hear a song and then post it on Ringks, it’s pretty much the same thing as posting the original song, only none of the artists get paid.”

“How does anybody make any money off this?”

“Advertising, of course. Imagine if, instead of a written ad with a picture, or even a video ad, you could actually taste a Coke, or smell some French fries. Plus, there are other people like my supertaster friend Arturo, who are super-seers and super-thinkers or just super famous superstars who only ever see super beautiful people, and they’re all starting to charge users to follow them. I mean if you have the choice between seeing all the beautiful things that George Clooney and Beyonce see or what Uncle Herman the butcher sees, who are you going to choose to follow, right?”

“Wow, this does sound amazing, but I think I’m going to have to pass on the Blink app for now. I’m already having sensory overload just dealing with the information I get from my regular everyday five senses. In fact, I think I’m going to head home, lock my door, turn off my phone, shut off the lights, and close my eyes for a while. Because there’s nothing that makes me much happier than catching forty winks.”

1 thought on “The Blinks And Winks”

  1. I was reading your funny times magazine in the north woods of Minnesota last week after skiing 7 miles from our car to get to the cabin we stayed at. By the time we got the stove lit and settled in for some Tulamore Dew I was getting pretty tired. I saw this magazine laying on the wood box and it made me laugh. I am now subscribed for the next 3 years. Looking forward to getting my first issue.

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