Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Brave New World

It’s hard to learn things about yourself when you assume you already know everything. We assume in life that we are rarely offered the opportunity to discover something about ourselves that we did not already know, even if we only knew it at a subconscious level. And when that opportunity presents itself, we usually ignore it. Unless you’re coming out of the closet or finding God of course, then it’s kind of hard to ignore. But previous exceptions aside, we generally assume we know all there is to know about us. The problem is that, to quote Chuck Klosterman, everybody is wrong about everything just about all the time. And people call me a cynic.

Today however I learned something about myself that I did not previously know; I hate technology. Oh I use it, of course. I have no choice but to use technology at any given moment that it is available to me. The problem is that I can’t stand it. I hate computers, but here I am typing on one. I hate cellular phones, but if I were to lose mine, I would be left wondering the earth in a constant state of confusion and fear. I hate cars, but I also hate walking, so I guess they kind of cancel each other out. C’est la vie.

It’s not my appreciation for vinyl records or my love of paper books over a computer monitor that feeds my disdain for this Brave New World. It is my reluctance to rely on technology that makes me hate it. We rely on technology so much that we stand impatiently in line waiting for that text message reply, when we could easily have called them on the phone. Hell, thirty years ago people wrote letters to other people using the magical force of the postal service. For the kids out there, when I say “letter” I do not mean the characters you type next to punctuation symbols to create those emoticons you love so much. I am referring to a letter, like a pen-pal (remember those?).

Relying on technology has not only shortened our attention span, but made us far less patient. It has also made us lazy. Think about it for a second. The mother of invention is necessity. Necessity is driven by the desire to do something more efficient, i.e. faster, better, cheaper and whatnot. Corporations spend billions of dollars on years of research to make a product that will make shit easier for me. And we pay for it with a smile. We would rather spend hundreds of dollars on household products that make our job easier than spend the time doing it ourselves. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We, as a society, have a constant desire to be reachable by anyone at any time. We spend money for the privilege of talking to people we don’t need to talk to about shit nobody cares about. And to make matters worse, everybody else in the goddamn vicinity of us has to hear our conversations about some drunken agro whore we slept with last week or our prediction of who is going to win the Superbowl. Next time you’re on the phone, take a quick poll of the people around you to find out how many of them give a shit about your opinion. Not to mention how much they probably hate your stupid fucking 50 Cent ring tone even though you’re white, can’t dance, shop at the Gap, and sell car insurance.

God dammit I hate technology.

I know a girl who thinks of ghosts

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