There was a soft thud on the mat and the sound of shuffling feet outside the front door. The Post had arrived and I knew this was the parcel I had been waiting for. My eyesight has been getting gradually worse, year after year and when the advert on the television said I could get a pair of glasses for less than the price of a pizza I was sold.
Yet there was too much choice. My fingers ached from scrolling through the pages and pages of frames. The ability to show what I looked like in them didn’t help, it takes someone else to tell you what suits best.
I was just about to give up when I saw a link, right at the bottom of the page in a small font, too small for me to make out properly but just big enough to intrigue me. The link took me to another site, altogether different from the main pages, with an old fashioned graphic feel. There was only one pair of glasses on offer, more expensive of course, but they looked perfect. I didn’t need to see them against my image to know that they were the ones for me.
The copy promised that with these glasses I could see better. By combining them with a subscription app, that I would be invited to download, I could use the lenses to pick and choose what I would like to see, or more importantly what I would not like to see.
The app had a few basic settings and thousands of variants that could cater for every nuance and proclivity. I could select to filter out such things violence, arrogance, gluttony, pornography and even politics. Here I could also choose to select by party, by topic or even by individual politicians.
As soon as the chosen subject or person appeared on the screen the lenses would go dark, like a pair of light sensitivity glasses, and would only become transparent again as the image faded. For a further fee I could have bought the accompanying earbuds as well but I had left them for now. I could always go back.
Never again would I need to see things that disturbed me. I would be forever protected from offensive images. My fingers trembled as I undid the wrapping and took the glasses out of the box. As I slid them on the frames gave the slightest hint of pink as they caught the morning sunlight.
I held my breath as I turned on the television. My fear was not that I wouldn’t see better but that I would see nothing at all.