Proof

He stood in front of the freshly dug grave, the sixth one in two days.  His friends had been young, like most of the others who committed suicide following the Event.

His whole life, from the moment of his birth, had been documented.  Photos snapped and placed online, proof of his existence.  The same was true for his friends.  Had they decided life was not worth the living without proof?  Walking to the car, someone called his name and he turned with his best flash smile, only to remember with despair there was no one there to capture it.

~~

“Friday Fictioneers” is a weekly challenge hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff Fields.  The challenge is to write a story, using only 100 words, in response to a photo prompt.  This week’s photo was provided by Randy Mazie.

It’s a lot of fun to join this fantastic and encouraging group of writers!  If you would like to read other stories, click here

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70 Comments Add yours

  1. neilmacdon says:

    I love social satire

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Neil, I’m glad you enjoyed. Happy new year to you and yours. =)

      Like

  2. Dear Brenda,

    This one certainly gave me pause. So much said in few words. A well layered story with a searing message.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad it made you pause, thank you for your comment! This story came about after an interesting conversation with my son and daughter (in their thirties), about the “Generation Alphas” (which I had to look up). The kids who are growing up in front of a camera. Happy new year, Rochelle!

      Like

  3. ceayr says:

    Jings, Brenda, not a lot of laughs in this one.
    Seems like the Event turned out to be a non-event.
    But clever exposé on the mindset of the digital generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The story was born from an interesting chat with my grown kids about the generation growing up in front of a camera, everything documented. I tend toward the “non-cheery” for my stories (haha). Thanks for your kind comment on the writing and happy new year to you! =)

      Like

  4. Rowena says:

    Well done, Brenda. I’m quite a philosophical soul so this really appealed. I am curious about what the Event was and am I right in thinking it had something to do with the demise of Facebook?
    I have friends who generally fall into two camps. The first group isn’t on Facebook and rarely sends an email. The other group tends to what I’d call over-share and you know everything that’s going on with them. Some of these post on FB asking for advise and I can’t help wondering why they can’t make up their own minds. The end of the year has also brought all of the award winners out of the closet and the travel photos. I am wondering whether I’ll look at FB quite so much at this time next year. As much as I’ve enjoyed looking at the photos, it does make me rather envious although we had a wonderful Christmas at home and with family and I wouldn’t want to be away for Christmas.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you had a wonderful Christmas, Rowena! The story came about after an interesting conversation with my son and daughter (in their thirties), about “Gen Alphas.” The kids who are growing up in front of the camera and the concerns related to that phenomenon.

      My kids grew up in Asia, part of the time in rural China, my daughter with curly fair hair and green eyes and my son with blonde hair and blue eyes (In the late ’80’s-’90’s). They sort of developed a “celebrity mentality” and wondered why no one made a fuss over them when we visited the US. Well, my son was happy about being “ignored,” (or relatively so) but it confused my daughter.

      The important thing I suppose is where we place our self-worth or our identity. That, of course, can be said of anyone, anytime. I’m not anti-tech, but the over-importance (or all-importance) of it.

      Happy new year to you and yours!! =)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rowena says:

        Brenda, your kids have had such an interesting and no doubt fairly rare opportunity to spend time growing up in rural China back then. I’ve had a few blond friends who travelled through China and received this kind of attention on a short-term basis but quite interesting for your kids living there and experiencing that as their norm.
        I have been reading through my cousin’s Christmas newsletter today and it dawned on me how she emphasized travel throughout and how important that was to her. She’s about 60 and has grandchildren she talked about but she also mentioned her kids travels. I actually forgot to mention the week I spent away this year or the trip my husband went on with the kids probably because we didn’t all go. I’m not sure what was important to us There’s a lot on.
        Only a few days left of 2018 So all the best for the New Year.
        Best wishes,
        Rowena

        Like

      2. Thank you, Rowena, and I hope you have a wonderful New Year as well. 😊

        Like

  5. I can only imagine what the Event was… but it seems like life has lost its meaning for the young…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does seem so. Though I wouldn’t like the switch to be flipped off on the internet (haha), it would present a challenge to cope for the younger generations especially. =)

      Like

  6. granonine says:

    Could the Event have been the demise not only of FB, but of the whole digital world? So overwhelming for the Alpha generation that they could think of no other way to cope but to die? How sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the story is about the demise of the digital world and the despair especially for those in Gen Alpha. That idea came from my son, and the story entire came into being from a conversation with my older kids.

      Blessed New Year, Linda! =)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. granonine says:

        Thanks, Brenda, and the same to you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Nicely written and intriguing. Just enough satire to make one wonder, just enough mystery to make one … well … wonder … 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Na’ama. Glad I left you … well … wondering (haha). Happy new year to you and yours! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, you captured that “flash” smile perfectly. These days kids pose so easily, hands on hips, pouty lips, and fake smiles. I find it rather depressing. And you’re right, sometimes it seems as if they feel they don’t exist without social recognition. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that children are learning way too early how best to pose and fear what so much exposure online will do for the psyche. Happy new year to you as well, Alicia, and thank you for your comments. =)

      Like

  9. Ann Coleman says:

    There is so much truth in this! Sadly, a whole generation is growing up thinking that all reality is documented and shared, and one can’t help but wonder how they will handle being anonymous or if they will have any sense of privacy at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The fishbowl (or celebrity) phenomenon is interesting to contemplate. I’m afraid it won’t turn out well. Hoping I’m wrong and some sort of balance will be restored. Thank you for reading, Ann, and for commenting. I love it! Happy New Year to you and yours. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Dale says:

    I can totally imagine most of them losing their “reality” if they lost this…
    Well done, Brenda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a bit scary. Thanks so much, Dale! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ooooh, now that’s one demise many of us won’t mind, as long as it does not lead to suicides like in your story. It’s an interesting age we are living in, and you might just turn out to be prophetic here, who knows 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear, I hope not prophetic. Thank you for reading and for your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Moon says:

    Brilliant, Brenda.
    Indeed, what is life, if not minutely chronicled on social media?!🙂😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for saying so, Moon. Happy new year! =)

      Like

  13. Abhijit Ray says:

    Kind of sad isn’t it? Even in graveyard, we are interested in the best picture! Nice story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is. Thank you for reading and for your comments. I hope you have a Happy New Year!

      Like

      1. Abhijit Ray says:

        Thank you. Wish you and your family a very happy new year. May all your dreams come true.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. draliman says:

    I’m kinda glad there were no digital cameras around to capture some of my “less than stellar” moments in my youth 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true indeed, I’m so glad not every moment was documented. 😊 Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. StuHN says:

    If you’re not seen by others, are you really there? Lots to think about with this story. Nice.

    Like

    1. That’s the best, to write something thought-provoking. 😊 Happy New Year!

      Like

  16. Liz Young says:

    So sad – I try to take photos of my grandchildren when they are not aware – a serious one is much more telling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good idea, Liz. Thank you for reading and commenting. Happy New Year! 😊

      Like

  17. Sandra says:

    Sadly I seem to know quite a few young people for whom an ‘Event’ might prove to be a life changing milestone. Good one, Brenda, nicely observed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sandra. 😊 Happy New Year to you and yours!

      Like

  18. This really points out the dark side of the internet era, with all its absolute narcissism

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are good parts and enjoyable ones too, but not in the overuse for sure. I suppose it’s like anything else. Thank you for commenting. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  19. plaridel says:

    i guess everything has an expiration date. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s certainly true!

      Like

  20. subroto says:

    Great piece of satire. Reality is overrated and food tastes better on Instagram.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Happy New Year to you and yours. =)

      Like

    1. Thanks so much! Happy New Year. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I can only assume the internet died and they had no place to post their selfies. Someone are so in love with their own mug they feel the need to share it online daily. Great humor & satire in this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, no more access to the internet. The story takes place in the future involving those whose lives were lived online from the time they were born. What do they do when it goes down? Thanks so much for commenting! Happy New Year to you and yours! =)

      Like

  22. I was just talking to my son about the need to look away from the phone and screen for a while, reading and communication face to face is so important, were raising a generation of techno savvy, social imbeciles. Great piece by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s certainly important to encourage the kids to look away from their screens and remind them of the importance of face-to-face. It’s all about balance isn’t it!

      Like

  23. Violet Lentz says:

    Excellent subject matter.. A whole generation being captured on photo and video, and I for one have yet to really consider the consequences..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The story takes place in the future with the Generation Alpha adults who are immersed in technology from birth and their entire lives lived online. What do they do if they no longer have access? Thank you for commenting and I’m glad the story was thought-provoking. That’s always a good thing!

      Like

  24. 4963andypop says:

    I imagine living without the internet must seem to these digital natives like how the Amish or other groups who have shunned electricity seem to us “English.” It is only when a disaster hits that we get a taste for what lifewould be like without.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true, I wouldn’t want to do without electricity or to be honest the internet. But, it’s about living a balanced life isn’t it? Thank you for commenting! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  25. And for some all that proof is too much. Very thoughtful piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true. Thank you so much, Carol, for commenting!

      Like

  26. Lynn Love says:

    What a very smart and insightful story this is, though sad. I know several people who take endless selfies to put online and I find the whole thing odd. I am on facebook but share nothing other than blog posts. I don’t understand oversharing, the need to let others know where you are and what you’re eating – it’s just plain odd to me. I know I’m not the centre of the universe and am quite happy with the fact. Great story

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am truly thankful for the internet and social media. Living overseas, it’s made keeping up with family and friends much easier. I agree with what you said though and like you, the obsession with it is what I find sad. I think that will be even more the case for the next generation coming up, who’ve lived their entire lives online producing unfortunate ramifications. Thank you, Lynn, for your comments and encouragement on the writing of the story. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lynn Love says:

        I think you’re right, though I hope people will draw away from these things a little more as they rebalance their lives. My pleasure, Brenda. Hope you have a great – and creative – 2019

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Priya says:

    I wonder what made them commit suicide.
    It leaves many unanswered questions. A well written satire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Priya, for your comments. The story takes place in the future and the complete obsession with living life online. When that is taken away, what will be the initial reaction of people who know nothing else? Happy New Year!

      Like

  28. A satire on gen alpha!! Oh my, I am dreading this Event – because it’s bound to happen one day. What will happen to our kids then? Will they lose the meaning of their life? Good story, Brenda!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Anshu! It does make you wonder and strive for balance. Happy New Year! 🙂

      Like

  29. lisarey1990 says:

    Very much layered. Great write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa. I’m happy you enjoyed the story!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. magarisa says:

    The notion of life not being worth living without proof echoes Socrates’ assertion that “an unexamined life is not worth living”. A powerful, thought provoking piece

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I glad the story was thought-provoking for you, I like that. Thanks for commenting! =)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Laurie!

      Liked by 1 person

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