It’s the time of year when even the Scrooges among us are begrudgingly clambering up in to the loft for their tiny, artificial Christmas trees, while those who are very much “with the season” are already on to their third or fourth week of mince pie eating.
Christmas comes but once a year and it’s around this time that office conversation turns away from how useless this year’s batch of Apprentice candidates are and towards topics like whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not (it is), or what fancy gadgets we’re getting from our nearest and dearest.
Speaking of classic Christmas movies, this time of year isn’t complete with at least a couple of viewings of the festive classic Home Alone. Over the last ten years, it’s gone from being a jolly tale of child neglect and excessive force in self-defence to an all-out fairy tale.
Technology in both our homes and on our person has changed immeasurably since the film first hit our screens in 1990, to the point where there’s simply no way that a Home Alone-type situation would be feasible. If anything, 2016 Kevin is probably safer in that nice big house alone than he would be with his horrible siblings and cousins
For a start, the McCallister’s mansion would have had some sort of smart home hub. Think how much their electricity bill must have been?! You’d definitely be wanting to turn down your heating a few degrees, whilst tending to your bees (advertising works, kids). Mom could have made sure Kevin’s bubble bath didn’t use up all the hot water before she came back to collect him in an Uber, while no doubt splitting the bill four or five ways with the relatives to avoid the arguments from 1990.
2016 Kevin would have IoT-enabled panic buttons all over the place, allowing him to seamlessly lock the place down when Harry and Marv came-a-calling. He’d have been a viral star as he streamed himself fending off the home invaders on Facebook Live and you just know his infamous mirror scene with the aftershave would’ve been ten times funnier with a Snapchat geofilter on it.
The scene where he elaborately sets up Angels with Dirty Souls to scare off the pizza boy without paying? Forget winding the videotape back and forth, their Amazon Alexa would’ve just pulled up the clip on YouTube and looped it with a simple voice command. And speaking of pizza, the issue that caused the whole child-forgetting to happen – Kevin’s fight with Buzz over his missing favourite flavour – would’ve been avoided in 2016 with a couple of taps on Mom’s smartphone to order an extra plain cheese.
So when you’re gifting the latest gadget to a loved one over the festive period, give a little thought to the fact that no matter how neglectful you may be, that child/cat/significant other will never be truly Home Alone.