Tech takeover, New Lang Syne and getting over use

Tech takeover, New Lang Syne and getting over use
Dear Rachel,
Everyone talks about Google taking over the world, and that just doesn’t make sense to me. Sure, they’re taking over the tech world. Them and the ugly blue giant. But does Google control water? Does Google grow food? When the world as we know it ends, the mega-corporations that end up ruling us all will be the ones who can control us by keeping us alive. Do you really think a search engine can take over the world?
– Living in the Real World
 
Dear Flesh & Blood,
Every week I get a calendar notification reminding me to answer some letters for the newspaper. In my Gmail inbox. From my Google calendar. Every week, for years now, Google warns me that this calendar notification might be a phishing scam. Let me reiterate: The email that Google is sending me. Via Google. Yeah, the tech world is not taking over anything. That said, please add me to your Mailchimp list. I want to know when your Kindle-published YA dystopian novel is available on my Nook.
– What personal data, Rachel

Dear Rachel,

It’s time for my annual scrooginess to come back out after Christmas for New Year’s. It’s the worst holiday that we actually celebrate. The parties are fine. It’s the delusion that somehow one year is going to be better than another in all the generic ways. We’ll be in better shape, the world will stop falling apart. Never mind that 2021 can’t actually be much worse than this year. It’s the blind optimism that kills me. Any ideas for an annual alt-NYE celebration?
- In Bed by 10
 
Dear Auld Lang Whine,
Actually, in bed by 10 sounds like a perfect celebration. The movies always show people kissing at midnight. Never mind that I don’t actually want strangers to kiss me. Do you know what people’s breath smells like at midnight? I tell you one thing, no one at that party has brushed their teeth since walking in the door. And we wonder why no new year lives up to expectations.
– Never say it can’t get worse, Rachel

Dear Rachel,

I recently discovered the spot on my phone where I can see my usage. I did not know I was spending two waking days a week on my phone. No wonder I feel like I have no life. I want to cut down on my screen time, but it turns out that literally everything I do is connected to my phone. Even my unplugged time involves mapping hikes on an app to share with my sister, which is basically our only form of communication these days. How can I go more analogue? 
– Phone Whipped
 
Dear Ana-rogue,
Sounds like a case for … a Failed New Year’s Resolution! Resolve to spend less time on your phone. Don’t make a concrete plan or set limits with consequences or anything, though. Just self-congratulate at your reduced usage on New Year’s Day, forgive the lapse on Jan. 2, and submit yourself to your tech overlords by about the 15th. 
– Happy skid to one and all, Rachel

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