Welcome to my Speculative Fiction Story!

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Behind the Screen: A Government's Network

One Thursday morning in October 2030, Molly Ridgely begins her walk to school. She’s a few months into the first semester of her junior year of high school, and the looming presence of college tours, applications, and decisions already haunt her. It’s 8:00 AM. *Buzzzz* *buzzzz*, her phone begins to ring her back pocket. She picks up and is greeted by the daily goodmorning announcement, the same one she has received and read every day since she can even remember beginning how to read.

“MESSAGE FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT: Good Morning, Molly! The weather today in Baltimore is 65 degrees fahrenheit. Don’t forget to check in with friends and family, or explore something new! Click for more.” it reads. She begins to roll her eyes, “ah this again?” she wonders. But then her mother’s voice plays in her head: “When I was your age, even having a telephone at home was an expensive privilege! Now you all get access to every parcel of information available at any time of the day and the ability to talk with anyone, anywhere at any time, how crazy!” She had a point, Molly thought. As her generation was often reminded, their “normal” was not always the case. In 1982, government interventions attempted to break up the telecommunications industry to promote competition and interconnectedness. However, these bills were fought and ultimately defeated, allowing AT&T to reign as the only telephone service provider and ultimately laying the framework for how the developing internet was to be provided as well. These two industries, telecommunications and the internet, were later absorbed by the government in 2010 in order to streamline services and provide access to such services to all American people. And because of all of this, Molly felt lucky to have free access to her phone and the internet, because her mother, although smart and determined, came from a poor background and didn't have the ability to use growing technology to her advantage. Although now, Molly thought her mother was using such advancements to her advantage, as she had landed a job in the government’s internet services provider department. It was because of this that Molly was so determined to go to a good college, she wanted to make her mother proud.

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