After falling into a coma at 17 years old, and waking up 17 years later with a fully functioning mind, Karen was asked:

“…how do you feel being here now? After so long. I mean, not just what’s new and different, but what does now feel like?”

Karen’s response, which resonates to today, even though the book was first published in 1998 (almost 17 years ago):

“There’s a hardness I’m seeing in modern people. Those little moments of goofiness that used to make the day pass seem to have gone. Life’s so serious now. Maybe it’s just because I’m with an older gang now… I mean, nobody even has hobbies these days. Not that I can see. Husbands and wives both work. Kids are farmed out to schools and video games. Nobody seems to be able to endure simply being themselves, etiher — but at the same time they’re isolated. People work much more, only to go home and surf the Internet and send e-mail rather than calling or writing a note or visiting each other. They work, watch TV, and sleep. I see these things. The whole world is only abou work: work work work get get get…racing ahead…getting sacked from work…going online….knowing computer languages…winning contracts. I mean, it’s just not what I would have imagined the world might be if you’d asked me 17 years ago. People are frazzled and angry, desperate about money, and, at best, indifferent to the future.”

Sounds familiar.

Excerpt from Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland