I think we all know by now that the well-touted technology revolution has not given us more leisure time, nor made our lives easier, and it definitely has not made us happier, healthier or wealthier. It may have made some people extremely wealthy but they would have probably invented something else that would’ve made them rich if they hadn’t come up with all this computerised guff. And guff it is.
Technology should be quick, useful, easy and even easier to move on from. None of this waiting for 10 minutes for your computer to log on, the endless frustration of documents that won’t open, screens that freeze, work that disappears when the network crashes or money lost when hackers get your details.
Not only does technology dominate our lives from work, to play, to home but now we’re all so dependent on it, it’s started bossing us around. I could get used to my car telling me I’d left my headlights on, that’s actually useful. But telling me off for not having my seatbelt on, for having the keys in the ignition when the door’s open and for something else that I haven’t even worked out yet? I don’t think so.
My washing machine alerts the neighbourhood when I haven’t balanced the load properly. You can hear it two streets away telling everyone how hopeless I am at basic domestic chores. The microwave demands to have its door opened after it’s finished destroying all the enzymes in my food and the dishwasher trills an ode to how clever it is when it’s finished doing the dishes. And I’m really not in the mood for attitude from my fridge. If I leave the door open too long it starts up, gently at first, with a few warning bleeps. But if I don’t obey it’s request to close the door it really lets me have it. And I thought technology was supposed to help us, not dob us in!
Then there’s mobile phones. Smart phones. Yes, they are smart. Smarter than us. Think about it. Who’s the boss in your relationship with your phone? How many times do you leave it unanswered? When it tells you it has a text or a Twitter alert or a diary entry do you jump to attention? Even when you’re with company, even if you’re on a date with the person of your dreams, I bet that phone comes first.
Technology hasn’t set us free. Technology has enslaved us. Technology is the true opium of the masses. We’re all stoned out of our minds and totally hooked. And like all addictions it’s getting increasingly demanding and more time-consuming. It sucks us into a vortex that we can’t escape from and don’t want to. You hear it all the time. “I can’t live without my computer.” “I couldn’t function without my phone.” It’s the greatest trick there is. Why? Because it’s not true, and we all know it, but we want it to be true and we live as if it is. Totally techno-rogered.