We’ve all enjoyed the benefits of rapidly developing technology. Computers that can spot the early signs of chronic illness; the live global streaming of significant news and sporting events and even online dating.
The thing is, doesn’t it feel like we’ve squeezed all of the good stuff out of tech and everything is now just one never-ending, unnecessary draw on your eyes, brain, ears and sanity?
NEWS of the NEWS takes a look at modern technology and what it really means to us all.
TECHNOLOGY IN THE WORKPLACE
If you never worked in an office before the arrival of computers then you probably wonder what people used to do all day.
In short, there was lots of filing, and not in a Microsoft Windows kind of a way. People actually took physical pieces of paper and put them in… a file. For real. In fact being the guy or girl that did that job five days a week was a perfectly acceptable career. We’re not shitting you.
So what happened if you wanted to send one of those files to someone else? Simple. You photocopied it (which might take several hours), put it in the mail and they received it a few days later. Crazy eh?
So how ‘magic’ is the modern office by comparison? Well you can now send that file to someone via email or some other electronic mode of communication and they get it instantaneously which is really, really clever. But what else have we gained since the workplace went digital? The simple answer is:
A gateway to rapid, permanent mental illness.
Who thought that living in a world where you can simultaneously have a call come through on the landline; a separate call come through on your mobile; multiple emails hit your inbox plus your boss gesturing for you to go into his/her office to view a PowerPoint presentation – all happening whilst your smartphone pings unremittingly with WhatsApp messages; Facebook and other social media updates; personal email notifications and other unnecessary distractions – was progress?
What’s worse is that you don’t even need to be physically sat in the office for this nightmare to play out.
Clearly being destroyed physically and mentally by electronic harpies of our own making is somehow a good thing. What makes the whole thing really funny is that Tomorrow’s World convinced us that technology would make our lives easier. Fuckers!
Christ, where do we start with this one…
Remember your first smartphone? Your recollection is probably something like this:
“OMG! I’m on the internet… on my phone!”
“Shiiiiit! I’m making a video call… on my phone!”
“Fuck me! I’m buying music and then listening to it… on my phone!”
These were all amazing things and they genuinely changed our lives but what happened next?
The simple answer is that, after that initial crack cocaine-like rush from what seemed to be the instant gratification machine of our dreams, we quickly became addicted and have been looking, without success, for that same rush ever since.
In subsequent years smartphones have offered a few more ‘ups’ for their increasing band of junkies but an absolute shitload of ‘downs’. Inability to maintain a focus on anything for more than 15 seconds? Check. Mindblowingly narcissistic tendencies now accepted as the norm? Check. Fuck, I can’t see because my eyes are so tired from the amount of time I spend staring at this portal to Hades? Er, check!
What’s worse is that we’ve all willingly surrendered our freedom simply because we can’t be arsed opting out of stuff. By the time the kids of today grow up everything they have ever said or done will have been uploaded to Tik Tok, or some other data collection site masquerading as entertainment. They’ll probably end up being slaves to fascist corporations and have microchips inserted into their brains to make their dehumanisation complete. OK, that might be an exaggeration but… maybe not!
ALEXA, GOOGLE HOME, SIRI ETC.
Sci-fi movies of the 60s, 70s and 80s were full of people asking computers to perform tasks, most of which were then completed without fuss and to perfection. OK, we know that the HAL 9000 computer tried to kill its crew in the movie 2001 but that was pretty much the exception. On the whole the talking, listening computer of the future was a huge step forward in technological advancement and something that made our lives easier.
So what’s the reality? Well, you can ask Alexa, Google Home and the others what the weather will be like in Buenos Aires tomorrow or who sang the 1972 hit “Son of My Father” and get a fairly accurate response but that’s pretty much it. Maybe they’ll switch on that fancy lamp in your lounge too but only because you bought some of those very expensive plug-in thingies cos you’re a slave to consumerism.
What’s worse is that these devices frequently speak at random moments – often telling your partner that you’ve been buying shit from Amazon whilst pissed again – and, worse still, they may even be listening to your every word and passing information to the Illuminati or some other shady organisation.
In short, the talking computer is something only to be used when your eyes are literally falling out of your head as a result of too much screen time and you are only capable of shouting “Hey Siri, what’s the capital of Zimbabwe”. That or when you’re trying to impress your parents.
Our advice? Smash them to pieces with a hammer and hoover up the bits with that useless robot vacuum cleaner that you felt compelled to buy because you’re a fucking sheep.