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October 2019 Vol. 15 No. 3

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Autumn Noelle Hall

Teen's tweets from her smart fridge go viral after mother confiscates phone

Ah, for the days
when the worst
a phone could do
was to tangle us
in its coiled yellow cord

I am having flashbacks to when my own daughter figured out how, in her words, to jail break her iPod and text her Middle school mutuals. Faster than I could say Net Nanny, she’d picked the locks on Social Media’s doors. She was a Smart Kid, in the old-school sense, though no more endowed with sense than any teen. Goodness knows what revolution she might have fomented had I been crazy enough to provide her with a Nintendo – or worse, a Wii U!

on black ice
in her IROC Z
just one of many things
that made my head spin

We breathe a sigh of relief when our teens finally grow up and leave – not only because they have survived, but because we have survived them. Now it seems we must worry about how our appliances might be carrying on behind our backs – if the Smart Blender is conspiring with the Smart Thermostat, what Blue Ray and Alexa might be up to and whether they’re using protection. Who’s watching us through that Smart TV? And never mind the Joneses, what do the Algorithms know that we don’t? Is there to be no respite from our ongoing vigilance? Must we all install iEyes in the backs of our heads? Any day now, I expect, our appliances will be writing collaborative tanka.

pics of the dog
helping himself
to ice cubes
the Smart Fridge

Note: For inspiration for this haibun, see "Teen-Smart-Fridge-Twitter-Grounded" in The Guardian.