For decades many New-Age people have claimed that the universe sends us signs — if only we’d just tune in and pay more attention. They claim that finding feathers indicates our guardian angels are frolicking nearby and a fork-in-the-road symbolizes an important decision will need to be made. And I always scoffed, “Sure! Right! Whatever.”
Until the one fateful day this past December when I started getting profound messages (and spiritual guidance!) from the Modern Digital World. I’m not kidding! It all began rather innocently. Just like this . . .
I tried to cross the street at a busy intersection while debating what to do about my unsatisfying relationship. “Should I break up with my boyfriend now or delay things until after the holidays?” I wondered aloud, while pressing the crosswalk button. Immediately the light turned red and an emphatic male robotic voice reiterated over and over again, “Wait! Wait! Wait! . . . Wait!” Startled, I looked around at the halted pedestrians patiently anticipating the traffic signal to turn and grinned broadly, realizing I had just saved a $200 therapy session. “Of course I should wait,” I mused. “After all, he might put a terrific present under the tree for me this year.” Never mind that we’re both Jewish and had no tree.
Inside my Mazda, I caught a glimpse of my mousy brown hair in the rear-view mirror and for the umpteenth time that day contemplated, “Should I dye it blonde or go with auburn highlights?” Without missing a beat, my GPS lady wisely advised, “Take the Highlighted route.” Well, that settles that! (I guess blondes will just have to have more fun without me.) Gosh, this woo-woo stuff was actually pretty cool.
Thinking of my boyfriend waiting for me in bed, I started to connect my cellphone to my Bluetooth when it instantly blurted out, “Ready to Pair!” Well I wouldn’t go that far, but I was feeling mildly aroused at the thought of him shopping for my Chanukah present. Maybe there was something to this, “Getting Messages From Beyond” thing after all?
As I pulled into the parking lot of my next destination, I wondered if I would ever get to a place in my writing career where I would finally achieve real success? “You have arrived!” exclaimed the GPS lady enthusiastically. “Really?” I flushed with excitement. (Now if only my publisher saw it that way and sent me on a lavish book tour.)
Using the self-checkout kiosk in Target, I had to admit to feeling pretty self-conscious about my appearance lately, particularly since I hadn’t been sleeping well and the skin under my eyes appeared swollen and puffy. After swiping my credit card, I entered information into the keyboard indicating I would use my own totes to carry my purchases. “You have no bags!” the machine comforted me. Blushing, I thanked it for the compliment on my complexion.
My next errand was clothes shopping. As I waited in the long line to pay for shirts for my boyfriend, I wondered how on earth I would know which register would be available first? Mysteries of the Mall. Immediately a seductive computerized voice loudly announced over the P.A. system, “Cashier Number 3, please!” Wow! The Electronic Universe certainly does have all of life’s answers! I made a mental note to set-up The Checkstand Lady Voice with The Crosswalk Man Voice, who was so diligent at his 10-9-8-7 countdown while I strode across the street. It would be a match made in digital heaven. And now I was eager to see what psychic information would come across next from another device!
As I piled the dirty towels into the front-loading machine in my laundry room, my thoughts drifted to a possible pregnancy. My period had been erratic and it was getting rather challenging to predict. “What’s my monthly going to be like this time?” I asked aloud. The washer was quick to reassure me there was nothing to worry about by lighting up the control-panel with, “Normal Cycle!” Thank goodness — I was getting way too old to change diapers.
Even text messages on this special day became uncannily spiritual. Feeling stressed, I contemplated what kind of self-care I should do? Perhaps meditation or maybe a long walk on the beach? Just then I replied to my friend’s request for a good pizza parlor, prompting her to text back, “TY!” Normally I knew this acronym was just a typical social nicety, expressing gratitude. However on this unique day, I somehow recognized it didn’t stand for “Thank You,” but instead my smartphone was now an algorithm guru telling me in secret language to “Take Yoga!”
Next I made the decision to create a cool new self-image on social media. I changed my User Name, put up a hip new profile pic, then sent friend requests to all the buddies of my adult kids so I could become popular with the younger in-crowd. Upon acceptance, all of them greeted me back with a timely acronym, “WTF!” This was astonishing! What were the odds that every single millennium would warmly reach out to me to say, “Welcome To Facebook!”
Before I fell asleep that evening, I called out to Alexa, “Please wake me up at my usual time.” And she ominously confirmed back to me, “You will be Alarmed at 7 am.” Wow. Just wow.
The next morning I was eager to tune back in to my Digital Universe of Guidance, but nothing seemed to be working. When Siri asked how she could help me, the Yelp restaurant review she directed me to was rather ordinary. Google merely gave me a synonym for “intelligent” that was actually rather dumb. My Voicemail wouldn’t play back messages from my boyfriend. And even my WordPress blog had no particular wisdom to impart. Well at first I thought, “Status: Draft!” meant that the U.S. military would be mandatorily inducting young boys into the army again, but nope — it just saved the silly article I wasn’t too sure about publishing.
Sadly, all the magic emanating from my digital world had abruptly ceased to exist. Where had it all gone? “Appliance Reliance” had turned into “Appliance Defiance.” And I was simply left with only my “Inner Navigational System” to rely on, which I now refer to as M.O.M — “My Own Mind.”
But perhaps this 24-hour accounting of unusual events will somehow help someone else out there obtain sudden flashes of intuition from their own technological interactions?
Please leave me a divine comment with your mystical Apple watch to let me know if that’s the case!