Complaining about technology/the internet/smartphones seems to be the latest trend.
Of course there’s irony in the fact that most of these complaints happen ON the internet. Also, most of the complaints center on the way that virtual communication is destroying real, face-to-face communication. Or the way that people project fake versions of themselves online in a way to gain affirmation. Or the way that something you post can live on forever and prevent you from getting hired someday.
In my opinion, it’s kind of dumb to blame technology for these things. It’s not technology’s fault that you decide to get online instead of hanging out with your friends.
For the most part, I love technology. Especially the ease at which I can now research virtually anything I want to know more about. For free. It is mind-boggling.
BUT. There are some things I really do not like about technology, and they’re things I don’t hear people talk about very often. Here are five of them.
1. Accidentally friending people.
This needs no explanation, does it? It happened to me just yesterday. “Oh, this person looks interesting.”
“Why isn’t the page loading? What’s wrong with my computer?”
*click* *click* *click*
“Woah, why does it say ‘friend request sent’? When did I send a friend request? Just now, in my clicking war? Or long ago, and I had no idea?”
THEY’RE GONNA KNOW I WAS STALKING THEM!
Even though I kind-of was. But…
THEY WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO FIND OUT.
2. Loss of tactile beauty
I am a very tactile person. I like to feel things. I like to flip the pages of books and magazines, cut things out, and paste things in notebooks. Now, I have an unlimited supply of beautiful things to SEE and HEAR on the internet, but nothing to feel.
Even technological devices themselves are being re-structured to eliminate the tactile experience. Keyboards have gotten flatter, and lost that satisfying click-ey feel they used to have. I tried using a smart-phone for about a year an a half, but eventually pretty much stopped using it, despite its convenience, because touch-screen technology drives me nuts.
There’s nothing to feel.
And also, I kept accidentally friending people.
3. Loss of EVERYTHING
There is a myth that once you put something online, it lives forever.
It has the potential to live forever, but it’s really out of your control.
Websites change at such an unprecedented rate. Xanga, where I began blogging, has since completely shut down. They saved my old blog posts for me, but so much is gone. The messages I sent people. The comments we made on each other’s posts. There was a whole community going on, and now, all evidence of that community is wiped from the face of the earth.
4. Disposable content
The other day I wrote about the unwinnable contest to create disposable content. Perhaps the internet is so full of disposable content because in ten years, our favorite websites will shut down and it will all be lost.
I don’t know.
I find the disposability sad. In the real tactile world, if I enjoy a piece of writing I put it on my bookshelf to read again later. There’s not really an equivalent for this in the internet world.
5. Advertisement driven content
I have a constant cognitive dissonance warring in my brain over this. On one hand, I love the way that advertising has allowed me to get so much cool stuff for free, and get a wee bit of money from blogging.
On the other hand, I don’t like consumer culture, and I hate that the free stuff and the blogging money only comes from the propagation of consumer culture.
Oh my. There’s only like, three minutes left in the day. Better post this.