Panel 1: “Goodnight Phone,” a comic by Gina Wynbrandt. The title card is a nighttime cityscape under a full moon.
Panel 2: A woman in a green puffer jacket walks into a room painted pink. She is looking at her phone. A notification labeled “All About You” pops up. She is at average energy and cash and has achieved the “Work Day Complete” badge. Also, her phone is telling her she’s hungry.
Panel 3: The woman is cooking a pot of pasta, following the instructions on her phone (it’s telling her to stir). A notification awarding “Cooking XP” pops up.
Panel 4: The woman is taking a selfie while eating the pasta she’s just cooked. Her phone awards her a “5K selfie milestone” badge.
Panel 5: The woman is brushing her teeth and gets a notification on her phone. It reads, “bed friend bedtime soon.” She looks at her phone screen, which shows her previous notifications and also informs her that she has 14 messages, 518 emails, one missed call, and two voicemails. Her life satisfaction gauge reads, “Okay.”
Panel 6: The woman finishes brushing her teeth. She spits out her toothpaste, and her phone rewards her with “Dental Hygiene XP.”
Panel 7: She lifts the covers and climbs into bed. Her phone, on her bedside table, says her “Desire to Sleep” is high, and her Angel/Devil gauge is about 80 percent Angel.
Panel 8: The woman lies in bed. There is a pile of laundry in the corner of the room.
Panel 9: Her eyes slowly close, fading the page to black. Then a thumbs-up notification appears, and her eyelids snap back open.
Panel 10: The woman’s phone informs her that “Your Chattr post was liked.”
Panel 11: Having picked up her phone, she checks Chattr and sees that someone named @FoodieKyle has liked the selfie she took while eating dinner earlier. (The text which accompanies the post reads, “i’m eating dinner!!! yum!!”)
Panel 12: The woman scrolls through her Chattr timeline. We learn that her handle is @Gina and that she has 1.5K friends and 28K posts. These posts include the dinner selfie, “i can’t wait to be done with work,” “wow, it’s snowing (with emoji),” and “bored :-/.” @JaxonRaySings tells us about his new single, while @IntellectualSigma (with a classical bust as an avatar) promotes a course teaching followers to “stop being weak and start being epic.” @Dolce_vita publicly denounces her toxic great-aunt Lorraine, etc. etc. etc.
Panel 13: Gina is still in bed on her phone, but a Bed Friend notification interrupts her scrolling to tell her that “It is now 10PM,” which, it says, is her ideal bedtime.
Panel 14: Gina holds her phone to her forehead, looking disappointed in herself. A notification pops up revealing that her desire to sleep has dropped and that she’s dropped to “Devil” on the Angel/Devil scale.
Panel 15: Gina is still looking at her phone. A Snap Vidz alert invites her to “catch up on Snap Vidz,” so she opens up the app and swipes through various tedious videos until she reaches a woman in cat ear headphones discussing her “fave” mobile games of the year: Super Romance Kiss Star (“omg so cute!”) and Dandruff Picker (“this is WEIRD but SO relaxing.”).
Panel 16: Gina is lying in bed with her phone held up over her head, preparing to download Dandruff Picker.
Panel 17: Dandruff Picker is open, allowing Gina to help Patient Freddy, whose scalp itches. She is prompted to pick between four tools: pliers, tweezers, a comb, and a double hook. No matter which she picks, she then uses the tool to take dandruff off Freddy’s head. After three rounds, he declares himself “All Better!” The game congratulates Gina and sends her a QR code with a 54 cents discount on a bottle of Flake Free Shampoo.
Panel 18: Gina is on her side, looking at her phone. She gets a notification that her “Grooming XP” has gone up and that her “Desire to Buy” has as well.
Panel 19: A close-up of Gina’s phone. She has followed the QR code to the Flake Free Shampoo page on a website called “Pretty Girl Shopping.”
Panel 20: Gina scrolls through the Pretty Girl Shopping site, seeing items like Luscious Essence for $95, the experimental laser tech Face Improver for $795, and the bestselling Nice Cream at $205. She’s also invited to sign up for the Pretty Girl Shopping credit card.
Panel 21: Gina looks happy. A notification tells her she’s spent money, decreasing her cash score, but her self-worth and life satisfaction scores have increased. A new notification flashes onto the screen, causing her to frown. She looks at her phone and finds that Bed Friends has ranked her as the #23,498 best sleeper. The top six are Shawn, Cindy, Anthony, Ralph, Lori, and Lalo.
Panel 22: Gina briefly puts her phone away and lies down with her arms behind her head, staring at the ceiling.
Panel 23: Having picked up her phone again, Gina gets simultaneous notifications from Krazy Bait and School Chums. The first invites her to “WATCH: Rude Karens freak out on fights”; the second suggests she check out wedding photos of the weirdest kids from her high school.
Panel 24: Gina picks which of the apps to open. Her finger moves to the button launching whichever app she picks.
Panel 25: Krazy Bait — with a nav bar of “Viral Epic Cringe OMG Yuck LOL” gives her three scenes of “Airplane Instant Karma” and “Lady Has Meltdown in Air” with photos and videos. School Chums shows Gina a series of wedding photos. Erika from the class of ’08 has married Scothanial Busch IV. Tim (’08 again) has married KaraLeigh, with their wedding involving an ornate horse-drawn carriage. Sloan ’07’s horse has officiated her wedding. They are more photographs of the horse than the groom.
Panel 26: Gina has enjoyed scrolling through photographs and gets another notification. This one shows her an icon of a brain.
Panel 27: The notification from the previous panel is for “iRemember.” Gina is prompted to pick between “Yummy Food,” “Good Dog,” and “Times You’ve Been In Pain.”
Panel 28: Gina gets a slide show of images whose subject depends on the choice she made in the previous slide. If she picked “Yummy Food,” she gets photos like a burger from a Chicago Cubs game, a plate of strawberries, and a banana. “Good Dog” shows her photos of dogs, plus a seal and what might be a photo of Gina hugging a Bluey mascot, and you know what — this is canon now. “Times You’ve Been In Pain” shows her various rashes, pimples, ear infections, and other unpleasant bodily events.
Panel 29: Smiling at her phone, Gina receives a “Wistful Sentimentality” notification.
Panel 30: Another Bed Friend notification informs Gina that “Being on your phone is fun, but so is a good night’s sleep. Get some rest!”
Panel 31: Gina tucks herself back into bed.
Panel 32: Her eyes slowly close like in Panel 9. However, this time, instead of a notification disturbing her, she gets a confusing nightmare based on things she has been looking at on her phone. Phantom images move back and forth across her field of vision.
Panel 33: Gina lies flat on her back, frowning. She receives a “Nightmares” notification.
Panel 34: The tools section of the Bed Friend app is open. According to a study from Bed Friend Sleep Lab, Bed Friend Users who regularly implement [Bed Friend’s] tools have 43 percent better sleep. Gina is invited to pick between three tools: Sleep Sounds, Meditation, and Coloring.
Panel 35: The content changes depending on which of the tools Gina picked in Panel 34. Sleep Sounds gives her an audio player with the option of several relaxing noises, Meditation provides meditating instructions (1. Deep Breaths, 2. Focus on Breathing, 3. Repeat 1-2, 4. Namaste), and Coloring gives her a mobile coloring book. If she uses the latter enough, an “Artistic XP” notification appears.
Panel 36: An upset Gina lies in bed, clearly unable to sleep. She picks up her phone and reads Bed Friend’s pitch to upgrade to Pro: “Still can’t sleep? Try Bed Friend Pro! Cutting edge sleep technology at your fingers! Premium sleep techniques and advanced technology results in perfect sleep.”
Panel 37: Gina looks annoyed at her phone. A helpful “Annoyed” notification confirms this.
Panel 38: Gina is looking at her phone again. It is implied that she has upgraded to Bed Friend Pro and been rewarded with a screen full of apples. Suddenly, more fruit — bananas, pears, grapes — appear. They begin to dance.
Panel 39: Gina is on her back, smiling at her phone as the fruit dance off the screen and into her bedroom.
Panel 40: Gina stares wide-eyed as a parade of fruit dances around her bedroom.
Panel 41: Fruit dance around Gina, who has her eyes closed. Eventually, a swirling pattern appears, and a “Hypnotized” notification pops up.
Panel 42: Gina is finally asleep and snoring.
Panel 43: A repeat of the cityscape from the first panel, only the sky is blue — it’s morning!
Panel 44: Gina is awake, tossing her blanket aside and getting out of bed. Notifications for “Hunger” and “Pee” pop up.
Panel 45: Brushing her teeth, Gina gets a notification. She pulls up her phone and finds a receipt from Bed Friend: she has subscribed to a year of Bed Friend Pro at $199 plus $22 taxes and fees, for a total of $221.
Panel 46: Gina, still holding her toothbrush, looks at her phone and cries. Her Cash meter goes to zero, her Life Satisfaction rates at “Awful,” and she receives a “Clowned Yourself Milestone.”