Asked • 08/04/19

How to show that something is different than in real life?

I'm writing fiction set in the near future (~15-20 years). The world is still mostly the same and thus familiar to the reader, but an important part of the story is that a few things are radically different in subtle ways.I wonder what some ways are to show those subtle differences without being too blunt?Example: Let's say that in the future, TVs track how many people are watching and refuse to show certain content if too many people are watching.My character could say `Man, remember in the old days when you could cram an entire classroom into your living room and just watch a movie? That new system sucks!`, but that is rather blunt.One option is to have the characters run into the restriction head on: `Henry arrived late to the party. To the great anger of the group, the TV detected him as an additional viewer and refused to show any more until the extra group fee was paid`. But it may not always be feasible to have the characters run into that restriction, sometimes I just want to show it's there without the characters really paying attention to it since to *them* it's perfectly normal.While the exact solution greatly depends on the story, I wonder if there are established techniques for that?

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