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Rated: E · Fiction · Sci-fi · #2179135
Grandma's adoption of new technology is delighting her, but concerning others.
A yellow driverless car pulled up to the curb in front of Karen. The back door swung open automatically. "Please enter this taxi Karen Wallace. Brenda Davis has dispatched this car to transport you to the Healthy Life Gym for your 4:00 p.m. aerobics class."

Karen cringed inwardly. It was unsettling to have so much of her personal life open to everyone and every device on the public network. With companies sharing her data with each other, she should expect her taxi to know about her aerobics class. But why did the taxi company have to remind her that she was so exposed.

At the moment there were other more distressing reasons to cringe. She considered running back into her college dorm. Yeah, like that would work. Grandma Davis would give her no peace if she tried to do anything else but attend the class. She slid into the back seat of the taxi. The door closed automatically, and the electric car moved silently back into traffic. Karen spoke to the air, "Call Brad." After a few seconds Brad’s voice spoke directly into her mind.

"Hello, Sis. What's up?"

"We have to find a way to stop Grandma from ruining our lives."

"What has she done this time?" Brad asked.

"What hasn't she done? This is your fault," Karen said.

"My fault? How is this my fault?" Brad asked.

"You got her interested in the Internet of Things. She has turned into a monster." Karen continued, “at this very moment, I'm on my way to an exercise class I do not want to attend because she says my biometrics show I need it."

Brad said, "How would she know that? Just tell her you get lots of exercise running around campus."

"I can't," said Karen, "and you know why? Because you, sweet brother, showed her an app on her mobile phone which monitors my fitness watch which she gave me as a birthday gift. She monitors and creates reports of my physical health. And, dear brother, you know what else? Somehow she knows how much studying I'm doing, and how much sleep I'm getting."

There was a pause. "I'm sorry Sis but I think I know," Brad said. "She asked me the other day to help her shop online for mini-monitors you can use for home security. I'll bet she bought some and had her home-bot, Herbie, install them for her."

Karen gasped. "Brad, she sent Herbie to my dorm room with a new quilt she'd made for me. I was so delighted; I showed it to Jane across the hall. Do you think Herbie planted bugs in my dorm room?"

"No, of course not. But, now that you mention it," Brad said, "Herbie was at my apartment last week. Grandma sent him over with a bag of her fresh baked blueberry muffins. I put them in the kitchen, and when I came back into the living room, Herbie was looking out the window. I thought it was kind of odd at the time."

"Home-bots don't admire the scenery," Karen said. The driverless taxi pulled over to the curb and opened the door for her to exit. On the sidewalk, Karen said, "Hey Brad, I have another call. I think we both need to search our rooms for spy cameras. You definitely need to search the area around your window. Talk to you later."

Karen said softly to the air, "Switch calls."

Speaking directly into Karen's mind, Grandma Davis said "Karen, I'm glad I caught you before your aerobics class. Are you seeing a young man named Marvin Grassley? I did a background check on him. His father is an executive at Armstrong's, and he has gotten good grades all through high school. His first semester college grades could be better, but hopefully they will improve as you encourage him to crack the books."

"Grandma! Stop!," Karen said interrupting her grandmother's flood of information. "You have got to stop smothering me."

"Oh, it's no bother, Sweetheart," Grandma Davis said. "I won't tell your mother a thing. Your private life is safe with me."
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