Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Dreams 2.0

Dreams… everyone has them. Many people can't remember many of them, but they're always there, lurking in the night. Throughout the ages (and yes, I am, in fact, going to gloss over the fact that my last blog post was four years ago) certain patterns of dreams have emerged. Everyone knows the classics: Standing naked in front of a room full of people; being late for school or work; not being able to run or move. These themes are so commonplace within dreams that people have made entire careers out of writing books and analyzing these cryptic scenarios.

As society changes, so it seems does the subconscious, and I'm a bit leery as to the message mine has been trying to get across to me lately. You see, in the last few weeks, I've noticed a brand new "recurring theme" in my dreams: being lost with a failing/dying GPS or smartphone. Usually it's somewhere in the city or another location I'm vaguely familiar with (at least my dream-mind is) but don't necessarily know how to get around, but sometimes I haven't the slightest idea where I am. Sometimes I'm late for something, adding to the stress levels, and sometimes I'm just scared shitless because of the extra-creepiness of wherever the hell I am. But they're usually similar in one respect: The battery is about to die, and I, for the life of me, cannot get the technology to work properly for whatever reason. That reason ranges from issues with Siri (a very REAL issue my REAL self has in REAL life), or hitting the wrong buttons, or for some reason having an unfamiliar phone. In some dreams, I'm on a bike or scooter for some reason. I don't know.

What I do know is that while yes, it's true I have an utterly piss-poor sense of direction and religiously depend on GPS for any trip that involves a journey of more than three roads, I don't think I have an actual FEAR of being lost, much like I don't really have a fear of being naked or late, despite what my dreams may imply. Which means, much like those other staples of dream-repeats, the whole being-lost-with-technology-of-questionable-quality thing is really just another front for some deeper, less obvious neurosis. But what? Armchair analysts may jump in and say stuff like, "it signifies you feeling lost in life, or your fear of not being in control, or yadda yadda yadda." Which may all be true; I just find it fascinating that my brain has updated it's repertoire for the 21st century, and wonder if any other of the "standard scenarios" were similarly spawned from emerging technology.

For example, many people have dreams in which lights don't work, or it's dark, or for some reason they can't see properly. Was this scenario, in fact, created by the sudden popular use of electric lighting? I also often have dreams in which I can fly. Well, not like Superman up-in-the-sky flying, more like hovering just over the ground. I'm walking down the street, I take a giant step, and just never land, floating all the way to my destination. Could this be a deeply-rooted skewed take on my ancestor's fear of operating that newfangled device called an automobile? Did ancient farmers actually ever dream of being late for something, given that they were really just kinda stuck on their property, or did they start having nightmares about their new aqueduct system suddenly running dry?

We may never know, but it'd be interesting to see how other emerging technologies seep into our subconscious and start affecting our dreams. I hope to one day (er, night) be dreaming about my transporter sending me to the wrong planet.