Real Life Black Mirror

You know how a few months back Google introduced that thing at the bottom of emails where it scans the content and auto-generates a reply? Never actually used it, and feel like it’s more of a way for Google to show off how clever they are than to create something that can practically be used.

Anyway, last night I was at a class in my hometown, and I went for a couple of drinks with the others once it was done. Unbeknownst to me, my phone had become unlocked in my pocket (it doesn’t require the passcode when my watch is in bluetooth connection range, thanks Google Smart Lock) and things were happening.

Thing is, where as in the past you’d send messages like asaskldjgnasjd, now with these autogenerated replies, you send coherent messages which sound nothing like you. I didn’t even know it happened in text messages.

So I sent my wife the above SMS, blissfully unaware and with my phone on mute as I hadn’t changed it back after the class. It wakes her up, and is unlike me in every way. She checks Google location as she thought I was in Eindhoven that evening. Turns out I’m in our hometown, but in a weird place she doesn’t recognise. She tries me on every messaging service we have, Hangouts, WhatsApp, Skype, Signal, and I’m not replying to anything. In her sleep-addled mind, I’ve probably been mugged and the mugger is the one who sent the initial SMS.

I got home and was quite shocked at her relieved / annoyed reaction as I was unaware of the whole situation.

Anyway, have you had any similar technology related shit happen due to tech?

Why didn’t you tell her you weren’t in Eindhoven?


Yeah, first thing I did.

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Just a case of getting wires crossed, I had told her, but she’d gotten the nights confused. I’m in different places around the country a lot in the evenings, so it’s understandable.

Occasionally get texts from my mum asking what I’m doing in the location I’m currently in. Always momentarily baffled how she knows where I am until I remember I let her see my location on the Find My Friends app. Feels a bit churlish to disable it now.

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Sorry, can’t read thread right now. Don’t call me I’ll call you.

Facebook have dropped this proposal now, but: