Take 10 people and stick them in a room together and ask them what their world looked like – 30 years ago those people would have described the room and the other 10 people in it. If prodded further they might include references to thoughts of family and friends outside of that room as well. Today, you’d be luck to find one of those people who even considered the room they were currently in. Each person effortlessly straddling any number of concurrent parallel worlds – we used to call them networks. When you pull back a bit it’s not just circles of friends, it’s not just a work/family split. One group of people sees the world one way, another sees it differently, and yet another has a still different perspective. We thought that people bouncing between these would lead to greater understanding and unity but instead it allowed people to fortify the walls between the groups, and isolate their connections to them that much further. 2 hours from now none of these people will have even talked to any of the other people in the room, no eye contact even. But ask any one of them how many conversations they are currently a part of and they will all have to stop and think about it. Different worlds, same physical space.
(meta: does this even count as fiction?)