Superpower Debate

By Katerina Bonderud, TIWP Student

My dear friend and I had a debate about superpowers. What if everyone had one? Like once you reach 18… BAM! Choose one supernatural ability. Sounds like a new episode of Black Mirror to me.

I told them I don’t care for invisibility, because that is only really useful if you have insane trust issues or if you want to rob a bank. Going back to the Black Mirror thought… if everyone has a supernatural ability, banks would probably be prepared and equipped for those nasty buggers. So the real issue we would have to worry about is murder. Dang what a way to go… so I guess not being interested in invisibility is a really good thing, because it proves I don’t want to be a nation-wide-searched-for-serial-killer-that-just-turned-possibly-worldwide-who-has-bad-trust-issues.

Moving on from that supernatural ability… and yes, in this so-called debate we had I did all of the talking. Now let’s talk about teleportation and flying.

Immediately my dear friend has an opinion on this one. But their response was nothing original. Oh yea, I would choose flying because you can see the world around you rather than just blinking and being somewhere else. I completely agreed, because I still am hoping one day I can take a nap on a cloud. One day, my dear friend. One day… However, this being a proper debate that my friend was less a part of and more of the judge of, but let’s be honest here… I will be the one who makes the final decision. 

Nevertheless, I want to state both sides of the argument. With teleportation you could go anywhere. Distances do not matter… which is a very interesting concept that we all strive for today. Yes we have planes, trains, boats, and cars. But those all have a time aspect. As does the ability to fly yourself. And speaking of which, would you be able to fly fast? Or is it like swimming  and running where you have to train and get faster? Let’s be realistic here, you’d probably have to train and get stronger. Because you would have to have at least a little bit of strength and aerodynamics to defy gravity. 

So let’s recap. With teleportation, you have no limits. You could simply sleep in your humble abode in the morning, get some clean drinking water and, you know, give said clean water and save kids in Africa before 10am, probably with some sort of cool down between teleporting. Because we’ve all been warned by the movies and books, teleporting or time traveling too quickly is, well… really dumb. With flying however you can still go anywhere. You just have time constraints and have to work a little harder to travel the world and save kids in Africa. Still very possible however.

In conclusion, anyone who would choose the power to teleport wants to see the world; someone who is antsy; someone who wants to get things done and get them done quickly. And someone who chooses the ability to fly, likes to live in the moment, is very athletic, and who would love to take a nap in a cloud. 

Wait. 

Hold on…

If you could teleport… couldn’t you just like… you know… teleport into the sky and just sky dive… so BAM! You can fly too? Surely not… Because, again, being realistic, there’s a thing called inertia that would make you splat. I know, I know, superpowers completely disregard actual physics. But here, here in this wonderful debate, we are being 112% realistic. However, this isn’t as simple of a debate as invisibility. So which is better: teleportation or being able to fly?

What about time travel?
    Time travel?

Yeah, time travel.

By now, my “dear” friend wasn’t even listening to me. They were just on their phone while eating those weird flat pretzels. So there really wasn’t a point for me to continue this debate. Heh. I don’t give up that easily though. I took a pretzel. 

Well, my “dear” friend, you didn’t answer my question. But allow me to elaborate why being able to time travel is the stupidest power anyone could ever want. Like have you been living under a rock? Have you not seen, read, or heard any of the horror stories about time travel? Okay. Okay. We already brutally thrown invisibility out of the running, and although I’m very tempted to do the same with time travel, I’m not that heartless. Some of the reasons why being able to time travel would be awesome is—duh!—you could fast forward dull or boring moments. Like imagine you are on a horrible first date. It’s just awful. Their breath stinks… they’re rude and keep hitting on you in really weird ways that you can’t even begin to understand. They think they’re hilarious but honestly they’re the least funny person you’ve ever met. The list goes on and on and on. How did you even get this date? How are you even here? Good thing you can time travel. Because BOOP, it’s over now!

Or another example. I don’t know, let’s say you’re in isolation or there is some unfathomable world pandemic going on. I know. I know, sounds crazy but bare with me here. If you were stuck at home, and it was rainy, you watched all the good… okay somewhat good… okay let’s be honest, bad Netflix Original shows and movies. Time travel doesn’t seem too bad does it? So let’s say you do that. You come out of it like nothing ever happened but having apparently learned archaic english. However, as you look around you, the air is cleaner. The sky is brighter. Everyone around you, all the faces you see… have changed.

People are happier and more connected. They’re off their phones now because they missed each other so much. Everyone you can see are healthier because they were forced to look inward rather than outward at the people around them… they scanned their life… picked up new hobbies and maybe figured out some of their deep, core passions. Now people are rested. They are reset. They can work hard.  Oh so very hard.

Suddenly this world as you knew it, or you thought you knew it, is completely different. As quickly as things changed going into the pandemic, things changed going out of it.

So even in the most boring moments—the ones you’d think would do no harm to skip past with your ability to time travel—you missed a pivotal experience to grow within yourself, and be a part of a maturing and changing world.

I didn’t realize it but my friend had gotten off of their phone and were actually listening to me.

In conclusion, time travel speeds up your short life. Something that is so valuable. Why would you want to shorten this crazy thing? Being able to time travel seems more of a curse than a blessing.

So what superpower is truly the best?

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