Now and then, you get a glimpse of the future and it leaves you shook. Having said that, I’m easily pleased when it comes to futuristic things.
For example, take those mirrors in taxis that display the fare in the mirror. That still blows my mind. Even though both the driver and I have phones which shows our locations because of 27 satellites rotating a thousand kilometres up in the air, never mind that, this is a mirror, with red digital writing on it. It’s like a mashup between Back To The Future and Snow White.
And this week, the future arrived again. I booked a car on a car-sharing site. Now I know that car-sharing has been around for so long and I’m so far behind the game, I must seem like a YouTube video of an old Tomorrow’s World. You know the ones from the 1980s where the presenters are wearing flared beige suits and big glasses and saying that in the future you may be able to send a letter to someone on the other side of the world, without a biro.” But anyway I did it.
There was a roboty message inside the car with instructions. I had to check to make sure everyone wasn’t walking around with silver onesies eating Burgeroid Pills made from seaweed.
In a way, it’s a throwback to an era when you could unlock and drive someone else’s car with the key of your own car if it was the same make. I have a friend whose father only realised he’d accidentally stolen a stranger’s car when he turned on the radio and said to himself, “wait a minute, we don’t have a radio in our car.” And it’s also a throwback to an earlier age of, you know, just sharing stuff.
As the world goes to hell in a cloud-controlled handcart, the word sharing has had different connotations. Young people are said to be oversharing on social media, parents of now angry older children are fretting about their ‘sharenting’ of their toddlers.
But elsewhere ‘shares’ are on the up. People are sharing stuff rather than owning stuff. The bike-share schemes are well established here with relatively few scumbags throwing them into rivers. I’ve just done a car-share (Gocar) which means it’s officially a thing now. Nu helps you share clothes. It makes me wonder what else could we be sharing? Here are a few suggestions.
WareShare: How many mugs do you need around the place? Why do you have tea drinking facilities for 30 in a two bedroom house. Are you expecting a wake? WareShare allows people to just borrow kitchen utensils for big occasions from people who think having 40 unused knives is important.
HobbSoLease: Children and adults start hobbies and then they abandon them and you’re left with a load of stuff in the attic and it can take ages to get around to selling it because you don’t want to admit to yourself that you don’t have the sticking power or were unable to say no to your child. But what if you could lie to yourself and say you’re going to take up the keyboard again at some stage but in the meantime why not rent it out on a non-judgemental sharing platform that doesn’t say what we’re all thinking — you’re a flake.
RainingSomewhere: Tractor sharing has started off in developing countries but what about a farm machinery sharing app for Ireland that specifically caters for our scattered showers? You know the weather here — it’s raining out the front door and the sun is splitting the stones out the back. What if there were a silage harvester or a hay mower lying idle in a shower while the fella down the road hadn’t seen a DROP of rain and was crying out for the tell-tale sound of Yer Man driving the combine up the road.
These ideas are free for you to run with. When you make your millions, you can thank me for sharing.