Messenger Wars

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Once upon a time not so long ago in a galaxy named after a chocolate, it was a time of great innovation, new things and choice. The economy was booming, people were starting up all over the place and You could truly feel the electricity in the air. It might of been because of fracking or all the WIFI that was spreading but it was a joyous time to be alive. People were connecting through various technology devices and all seemed well. But then one day, along came the messaging apps.

What’s the big deal? You might ask. Isn’t it a good thing to have such a variety to choose from?

“No! It’s too much.”, the humans yelled after rallying an angry mob on the internet and across conference rooms all over the globe. “It’s too confusing. We need to make up our minds once and for all on which app to use. We need a messaging app pageant. Hooray!!! What a grand idea!”, the people were joyous once again and harmony returned to office spaces on all the continents.
Not long after, the day of the pageant came along. Backstage of a glorious concert hall, the apps gathered in the green room. Some of them nervous, some borderline cocky, others terrified to their core.

“I got this,” said Skype to himself, “I’ve been around for a long time, Microsoft owns me, I’ll be fine”, then he suddenly remembered, “What happened to MSN messenger? He was just around. Where is he now?”

“I’m here Skype,” he could hear a distant whisper somewhere in the darkness, “I’m a part of You now, don’t You remember?”

Frightened, Skype had a flush of memories run through his body. He remembered, he ate MSN messenger, “What have I done? What have I become. I’m a monster.” With tears in his eyes he ran outside, he ran until he couldn’t run no more. Some say he ended up in Guadalajara, others heard that he was drinking Pina Coladas on a beach somewhere. Having a jolly good time. We all have fond memories of him.

Seeing the effects of the pressure, Viber started panicking, “WTF man, Skype left? What am I going to do now? Look at all these great apps. WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger. Do I even have a chance here?”, Self doubt crept deep into Viber’s being. He was visibly shaking.
The event organizers could see the pressure overwhelming the apps and decided to take action. They arranged a tour to the Connecting Hall of Fame. Or CHOF for short. Luckily it was in the same building as the App Pageant. Going down a spiral staircase, the air thickened. Finally they arrived at the entrance. They saw huge, almost gigantic doors covered in cobweb’s. As the rusty doors opened, they could sense greatness in the air. A gramophone was playing the Best of Nat King Cole in the corner. Ye good ol’ Morse Code was just hanging around, shooting pool with the Written Letter. They were approached by the apps.

“Hey guys, how are You doing on this fine evening?”, the apps asked almost afraid of the answer.

“Well, looky here Letter, what do we have here? What’s Your kind doing around in our neck of the woods?”

“The humans, they have created so much, they are almost mad now. Seems everybody is creating a messaging app. What are we supposed to do now?”, Viber, still shaking answered the old timers in a nervous voice.

“Don’t worry buddy, we got this. People need choice, people want diversity.”, WhatsApp put his hand on his friends shoulder and tried to calm him down. But the truth was he was starting to doubt himself as well. “The pure abundance of apps. All that choice. One friend here, others there. They all want to communicate with each other. What if they truly only need one? Who will it be? What will become of us?”, he pondered in his mind. His interior was shaking but on the outside he still tried to depict confidence. People were already paying for him, things seemed to look up. Now, he just didn’t know anymore.

“I’ll offer You guys some words of wisdom”, the Written Letter said after hearing out the apps, “Take what You can while You can. Live life to the fullest, but keep this in mind. They will invent new apps, new means of communicating with each other. Some say they might not need words soon. Telepathy is making a come back. So go out there, enjoy Yourselves. No need to fight each other. You are the same. If You are lucky, they will turn You into a novelty item, use You once a year to write their grandparents. Then You will be forgotten and sent here. But it isn’t all bad. You will get the full ride, they need You, You know. Have a blast.” The apps, almost enlightened felt some relief. They felt surrendered to life, all of them, together.

“Yeah, maybe it’s not about being the best or there only being one. They need us. Fuck them! Let’s go out with a bang!”, Facebook Messenger, who had been quiet for the whole time suddenly yelled. He had a point. The apps agreed to make each other better instead of competing with each other, to have fun. On their way out of the CHOF a weirdly shaped figure approached them from the mist. He had a cane. They could all recognize him. The Telephone. A pure legend in front of them.

“I thought I heard a ruckus”, he spoke with a croaky voice. All of the apps bowed to the master. “So, You’re the hot shit right now, what’s happening on the streets, the shizzait?”, he asked somewhat condescendingly.

“Yes, sir.”, the apps replied.

“You ain’t much but You will do for now”, he continued, “Some word’s of caution. Fuck them before they have a chance to fuck You.”, he said and turned around, walked back into the mist and was gone again.

“Don’t listen to him.”, the Written Letter preached.

“Yeah, his all bitter after what they did to him. He had it all. All the women, money, power. He couldn’t let go, now he just wonder’s the mist, it’s his home now. May he rest in peace. Go on now, You young whippersnappers, it’s all in front of You . Oh and if they offer You cocaine, don’t do it. Build character instead, the effects of that are much longer lasting.”, Morse Code added and offered a gentle wave for the weary travelers. The apps, almost traumatized, left the CHOF. Baffled with what they saw and witnessed, they made a pact. To enjoy the time that was given to them and to help one another in which ever way they could. Nothing more and nothing less. You could see some of the weight lifted from their shoulders. As if a realization had occurred to them. Everything in life is permanently impermanent. Although the glitz, glamour, drugs and women are nice, they fade away also. Then the only thing You are left with is Yourself. Make sure You want to be with that person, otherwise You might end up wondering the misty halls of CHOF. From that day forward they remained friends. Until the next time someone decides to write a messaging app…

Ian Altosaar

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