Unlocked memories

After a hearty family dinner at my grandparents’ house, I found myself in the attic. Surrounded by the scent of old wood and used electronics, a sense of nostalgia washes over me. As a child I had always loved exploring up here, where once used artefacts are laid to rest, now only for the purpose of gathering dust, having the never-ending hope to be picked up and used some day.

The strong feeling of blessing enters me when I think back on the heartwarming conversations I had with my grandparents at the dinner table. We are so lucky that todays technology allowed them to easily live independently until the age of ninety. I could not imagine living in a world without them.

Making my way though some old boxes, I stumbled upon an old laptop with a charging cable I hadn’t noticed before. I pulled it towards me. As I inspected the exterior of the device, I realize that this old and robust laptop could have been my moms in the past. I recognize stickers from the stories she has told about her student life, time and time again when I started to study. Luckily the attic in the house still had a power outlet, since this room has not been renovated in fifty years. I plugged the device, and to my surprise, I was able to turn it on. The attic was quiet, but the rhythmic hum of the laptop filled the space. I found myself staring at a screen. “Enter Password” was the first thing I needed to do. What did I expect, this laptop will not unlock by recognizing my neural patterns, nor will it respond to my mental commands. My mother has never been a complicated person. “Try something simple,” I muttered to myself. Using the still physical keyboard on the device I type: “P@ssword123”. And to my surprise, this worked.

In the first screen that appears after unlocking, I see different small images with text underneath it. In the top-middle of the screen I see one that says diary. Did my mom really write this? I hesitate whether I should even open it but my curiosity takes over, like it always does. A document with more than two hundred pages appears on the screen. Quickly I scroll trough it and I end up on page 117. The attic felt warmer now the rhythmic hum of the device has been speeding up. I took a deep breath and started reading.

April 21th 2024.

I realize that my mum must have written this almost thirty years ago.

Sometimes I do fantasize about the future. Today was another day in which my thoughts were taking a ride on the future worry train. Who will I be, what will I do with my life? Will I have a good career? Will I have a family? Is having kids even a good idea?

Well mom, two kids later I hope that you are glad that you got us. My curiosity was triggered again and increased by the amounts of words that I read. Quickly, I resume reading.

I do think a lot about my personal future, but I also wonder about what the rest of the world looks like. Will healthcare be advanced and will people be able to live longer? Is the quality of life improved? My grandparents passed away too young, I would love for my parents to hang by longer than them.

I never knew that she experienced it in this way. There definitely have been a lot of breakthroughs in medicine and healthcare leading towards a higher quality of life. If she just could have seen how our family still has such a strong bond and how well her parents are now, it would have taken away a lot of her sorrow. Reading this, I want to treasure family dinners like tonight forever.

           I actually do also worry a lot about AI and the future. I have seen to many movies in which things took a bad turn. Will AI take over the world? Will humans even have a purpose?

Thinking back to how the world has changed, AI could have indeed done a lot of damage. Luckily there are strong regulations, the power is in the right hands and the purpose of humans might have changed, but it stayed.

           Okay, that’s enough worries and questions about the future for today. Lets talk about what I’ve experienced this morning.

I hear the distinctive footsteps of my mom on the stairs, slowly but firmly approaching. As quick as I could, I closed down the device and placed it together with the cable on the original spot. Deep inside of me I am doubting whether to tell her about what I have just found.

Image generated by PIXLR (Prompt: An attic in the year 2054. Warm feeling. Dusty with boxes filled with old and broken electronics)