Wednesday, July 6, 2016

5 Reasons to Join me as a Technophobe

Did you know that Weird Al Yankovic majored in Architecture? I’ll get to the nexus of this posting in a moment, but I have to cheer how much that fact came as no surprise to me. He has always struck me as a balanced right and left brain. He started high school at age 12 because he was so ahead of the curve.

Nothing in my past is worth boasting about to that degree, but I was a science major as well with my eyes always wandering to the heavens of creativity.

And now my point: I embrace science in spite of all my artistic endeavors. So when I share with you very real fears about technology, you can bet I’m not being flighty. Come with me as I write my most horrific piece, because unlike my creepy fiction, this is REAL. I’ll try to make it just a little bit funny so you won’t bolt outdoors and scream, “The world is ending!"

Deaths will increase due to texting and driving. Can you imagine the old cowboys complaining about the horseless carriages, and how those big pieces of metal colliding with others would cause fatalities? Surely an opposition group pointed this out back in the early 1900s. We pressed on anyway in the name of speed and convenience. Want to hear the scary part? A demographic exists out there that can’t even begin to fathom WHY THEY SHOULD WATCH THE ROAD INSTEAD OF THEIR PHONE. They grew up in Techworld so it’s normal to them to have eyes on a screen all of the time. Put all those lawbreakers on horseback and I bet they wouldn’t give a damn about the gossip from their besties.

Identify Theft is so bad that YOU can’t even get to YOUR accounts because of all the protective measures on them. Just wait until it’s time to start drawing your 401k. Don’t be surprised if you’ll have to send in a swab of your skin for DNA tests monthly just to get your check. I actually carry cash most the time now. If someone robs me face to face, at least they only get off with a few bills and not my whole damn life. Identity theft actually makes muggings look BETTER. Our money is safest through paper transactions only now.

Television used to be free. Remember that? Everyone complains about the economy, but if we weren’t forced to foot the bill for cable (because that’s the only way to get your local stations now clearly), you’d have more disposable income. With the ‘pulling of the plug’ on analog broadcasting in 2010 to supposedly upgrade to digital receivers that don’t work unless you live 5 miles from the TV station, now you have to go without just the regular old news unless you shell out for the internet—another expense we didn’t use to have.

Just like road rage reared its ugly head in the 80s because traffic reached an all-time high and drivers, disconnected from being actually face to face with another person, did abominably stupid things like hit their brakes in a huddle of cars, endangering everyone on the road, social media has emboldened morons to new heights of asinine aggression because they are not in proximity to the people they hurt. Most of us, when we go to a get-together, were raised to be cordial to the other folks, in spite of our differences. This means keeping your mouth shut about politics and religion for the most part because you’re simply not going to agree with everyone on everything. In a way, there’s nothing actually social about social media, because the correspondents don’t ‘feel’ each other. The reason we have a law that forbids yelling fire in a crowded house is because some turds actually did just that. So, as more lamebrains carelessly stir the hornet’s nest on the internet, lying, provoking, they can actually threaten our freedom of speech.

Phones are insanely expensive! Friends, they’re not that complicated of a device. But you have to pay between $300 and a thousand dollars for a new one and they don’t amount to much more than a radio. Seriously. The word ‘wireless’ just means radio waves, the exact same ones you used to listen to FM and AM with, except it’s digital. If you don’t believe me, ask any engineer. And you have to get on a plan with that phone. A contract. This is progress?

It comes down to this: The tech industry is convincing consumers that they need things that they don’t actually have to have. And then they’re taking just about ALL of your money in doing so. And too many consumers are using the technology recklessly. Hopefully I was careful with my rhetoric on this 'tech' device. Thank God it's still free.
Of course technology has helped us in so many ways. Not the point of this article, though. Arrogance and 'turning our brains off' are the real dangers. Lest we forget, the Titanic was a technological marvel. But not a one advancement in engineering on that ship could have prevented the disaster caused by the smug, thoughtless imbeciles who touted it as unsinkable.

Gusto Dave

1 comment:

Patricia Stoltey said...

There's a lot of technology I love, like my computer and the joy of writing in Word as opposed to a manual or even electric typewriter with carbon paper and onion skin copy paper (yeah, I'm old enough that I started writing that way).

But I draw the line at the whole smart phone thing. I have a $20 TracFone in case I have a flat tire or one of my family members needs to reach me in an emergency -- I pay an annual but reasonable fee and buy minutes as I need them. I can't imagine trying to answer a call or text or try to check my Facebook news feed while driving. I'm too busy watching out for the pedestrians who walk out in front of traffic while they're staring at their smartphone display.