10 Reasons Why

15 Things About Modern Technology That Make You Want to Scream

1. You watch a TV show that you’re not all that interested in just because you’re too exhausted to figure out how to get to that Guide channel on the new remote that your partner keeps swapping out every two weeks. (Why must we always have new ones? WHY?) Besides, every time you do find that menu, you punch a button you shouldn’t and eventually hell breaks loose.

The next day, people yell at you because the DVR stopped recording “Orange is the New Black”, half of the channels are now in a language that nobody speaks, and somebody is declaring that they’ve had enough of your heartless cruelty and they are moving out. (Hmm. Maybe I should push that button again and further fine-tune the population around here.)

2. You get irritated when a photo you’re trying to save from the Internet takes longer than two seconds to download, completely forgetting that in 1995 you were completely thrilled if a racy photo of Brad Pitt downloaded in less than 10 minutes. (And that was for a black-and-white, grainy snapshot. If you lusted after a full-color, crisply-defined photo the download would take three days and eat up half your hard drive.)

3. You discover that you are no longer able to form a proper, complete sentence after having sent roughly 40,000 texts in the last three years. The saddest part? 39,997 of those texts were completely unnecessary and generally involved food that you shouldn’t have been eating in the first place.

4. The soothing Bluetooth voice in your fancy new car announces that you should lose 23.7 pounds for an optimum driving experience.

5. You get really upset that your wireless phone dropped yet another call because you were in that “black hole” part of your house, and you angrily stomp down the hall past the wired phone that works just fine. Truth be told, you’ve forgotten about that old-school landline contraption, gathering dust and pet hair as the aging plastic cracks. (When it rings once a year or so, people get confused and think the fire alarm is going off, racing out of the house clutching family photos, heirloom china and a jump drive with all their social media passwords.)

Most folks don’t really need that landline anymore. But since the name of that old-school phone company has changed five times recently, you don’t even know what that bill is for anymore, so you pay it just in case it’s an important one. (Remember that time you didn’t pay the bill from “Beaver Valley Home for the Decrepitly Rich and Happy” because you thought it was a mistake? And then Great Aunt Edna called you from the McDonald’s where she was forced to live for three days until things got resolved? And then Great Aunt Edna, still smelling like a Happy Meal, changed her will and your stupid cousin Bucky was now in line to get her family estate instead of you? Yeah, we don’t need to go there again.)

6. Your email address gets picked up by some murky syndicate and suddenly you are getting endless promises of everything from drive-thru breast implants to a miraculously-strong penis that can double as a carjack.

7. Your email inbox hasn’t been fully cleaned-out in over a decade. When you try to click on some of the decrepit messages way at the bottom of the list, your laptop shuts down and a military helicopter flies overhead.

8. You start to initiate a friend connection on one of your 23 social media sites and a pop-up displays, warning you that you drunkenly slept with this person 12 years ago but you’ve managed to block out the experience. Are you sure you wish to proceed?

9. You’re so used to something in your pocket playing an annoying tune and buzzing like an insistent wildebeest that you no longer pay attention and you miss half your calls. Tragically but inevitably, because your life reeks of suckage, the missed missives include one from Great Aunt Edna’s lawyer alerting you that Edna might bring you back into the money-lined fold if you respond to said message within the hour. Sadly, you don’t hear of this development until 7 hours later, when the overloaded battery in your phone burns a hole in your pocket and drops to the floor, inadvertently kicking off your voicemails while the now-leaking battery acid sets afire your favorite throw rug. (Why can’t I have nice things? WHY?)

10. Your own computer suddenly announces that you are no longer an Administrator on this device. But for a small monthly fee, it will allow you to access some of the non-premium content. Click here to sign up for the Platinum Plan.

11. You hit a wrong button on the confusing security-alarm control panel you had installed at the house. (Why must there be 47 buttons? WHY? What happened to “on” and “off”?) Next thing you know, the dishwasher suddenly turns on, “Orange is the New Black” starts streaming on the ceiling in the den, you hear a fire truck approaching from the end of the street (is the rug still burning?), and a Jehovah’s Witness rings your doorbell, somehow getting to your house on a mere bicycle before the fire truck can, yet another example of governmental ineptitude.

12. Your techie friends laugh at the fact that you still buy physical CD’s in a physical music store. You choose not to mention that every time you do this, you somehow manage to get the one CD with that weird crack in the plastic that you swear wasn’t there when you picked it up. Is the Bluetooth woman in your car doing something to your purchases when you aren’t looking? Probably. Maybe it’s time that she found another place to be soothingly overbearing.

13. You have so many user names and passwords that you are forced to start a spreadsheet for all that mess. And you must include a column with your answer for the security questions, because you’re getting old and it’s no longer easy to remember the first car you owned or the town where you were born or your favorite teacher in that failed social experiment known as high school. Sadly, said spreadsheet was on the jump drive that Cousin Beulah was sweatily grasping as she raced outside during the false fire alarm that was really the unused phone burping to life for the first time since 1997. Hold up. Where is Cousin Beulah? Just how far did she run?

14. You start to join another website, and you are flummoxed when the unique “surely nobody is using THIS” user name you enter is already in use. What the hell? Who else would go by “@KDWbang!%”? Have I been to this website before and I just don’t remember? Are the breast-implant people stalking me? Is this the place where I pay the bill that I don’t understand might be for the phone that I don’t use? Why can’t we just go back to everybody communicating using Big Chief tablets and those really thick pencils designed for people who are dipping their first toe into the world of written language.

Perhaps the world would be a better place, taking a step back. Considerably more uninformed and naive, but then again, all the proven knowledge in the world is now at our carpal-tunnel fingertips, yet we still have absolute idiots running amuck and shooting ignorance out their asses. Which is the better deal, I ask with minimal sarcasm and maximal sadness?

15. You wake up in the middle of the night screaming “ACCESS DENIED!” and your bed partner sighs and heads to the guest bedroom for the rest of the night, frustrated once again and sending a furtive text to Great Aunt Edna that she made the right decision. This dog don’t hunt. Meanwhile, the Jehovah’s Witness is still on your front stoop, patiently waiting and counting the number of moths who fail in their mission to conquer the porch lightbulb. In the distance, Cousin Beulah is still running for parts unknown, jump drive still in possession, the world still an oyster, hope still somewhere…

 

Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 05/18/12. Considerably revised and updated for this post, as that original piece (and many of you will know exactly what I mean) was one of those where you open the saved file and think “did I really throw this out into the ether and think people would actually appreciate it?” We all have our clunkers, we all have our patches, and somewhere in the process we do our best to salvage it all…

 

42 replies »

  1. Sounds like you need a little detoxifying break, mate! 😉
    Also:

    “Hmm. Maybe I should push that button again and further fine-tune the population around here.”

    How true!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had 2 Jehovah’s Witnesses call at my place last night, “Will you let The Lord into your home tonight?” the slightly less ugly one asked.
    “Yeah, he can come in.” I retorted. “But you and your monkey friend can get the f**k off of my property”
    It’s what my local priest would have wanted

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I don’t have too many gizmos around the house…well, I have a Wii that I have as much clue how to operate as nuclear submarine…I can run my DVD player…mostly. Netflix was a challenge…and still is..but simple things like the remote control for the television becomes problematical when I try to call somebody, using the numbers on it. Then, of course, I’m trying to figure out 1…why they aren’t answering and 2…why the television seems to be having a stroke.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I actually have #13. The problem with THAT is that if you (like me) are paranoid and feel the hovering helicopter might be taking furtive photos of your passwords and such, and you hide it, you will NOT be able to ever find it again..thus causing a larger hole in your stomach lining from the angst and stress of not remembering 5413 passwords. Screw the security questions. Me? I use something really obscure that nobody (not even the most dedicated ID thief would ever find or guess). Hubby knows, but he’s dead and he ain’t talkin’ – so far as I can tell.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sure it won’t surprise you to learn that I actually have a password spreadsheet as well. There is no way I can remember all that mess, even on my best day. I just checked, and there are 132 entries. No wonder I can’t relax and I’m on anxiety medication… 😉

      Like

  5. A snortathon here in downtown Grenoble. Every single box I can tick and you give it such panache in the sorrow of it all. Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone (even though I am actually alone as I give of my best snortations in my rose arbor)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your comment oddly compels me to bastardize a snippet from a golden oldie, one that hopefully you know: “I never promised you a rose arbor, along with the moonshine, there’s gotta be a little snort sometime…”

      Yes, I know this doesn’t make a lick of sense, but your last two words cued Lynn Anderson in my head and now the hussy won’t shut up. We artists suffer greatly, don’t we?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Whatever salvage work this required, you did it admirably. I nodded, chuckled, and made several comments of “oh yeah,” “you know it” and “right there with ya, man”.
    As for #7: It reminded me that I have a Yahoo account. Wonder how many unread emails are lurking there? Dare I check? 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I think I have a Yahoo account as well, mostly likely created during their initial roll-out in 1902. Since I was single then, I’m sure any detritus still lingering in my inbox involve the lusty pursuit of ribald adventures…. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, I so needed this today. I’ve stopped carrying a phone, was stuck in traffic trying to get to an appointment, and wondering what people did before they took their phone everywhere with them.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you – glad to know I’m not the only one that ignores the phone that used to be in my pocket.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a breaking point when I counted 7 different remote controls plunked on our coffee table, with all of them apparently necessary just for us to use all the TV equipment. I promptly went to Best Buy, got one of those flashy remotes that can be programmed to operate anything, brought it home, handed it to my partner, and admonished him with something like “make this beast work. I am relinquishing any knowledge or responsibility and you are now the master of all things viewable”. Of course, I basically can’t watch TV when he’s not here (which is actually fine by me), but overall things have since gone rather smoothly, at least in that area…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Egads! Seven remotes! Truly mind boggling. That’s kind of how it is here. My husband is in charge of the remotes now. There’s very little i want to watch anyway, and i don’t have juggle them and try to figure stuff out. Better and more fun things to do b

        Liked by 1 person

  8. The TV remote situation is a painful one – mostly for my long-suffering husband. He has all these remotes that program sound, inputs and who knows what else. (I, on the other hand, am a complete Luddite.) I think a little piece of him dies every time I watch a 80 year-old movie on his state-of-the-art equipment. However, I try to tell him I appreciate this technology:
    Me: “If if weren’t for you, I’d still be watching black and white television.”
    He: “That’s all you ever watch!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Luckily, my partner enjoys the old movies as well. We just watch them with a crisper definition and better sound quality than the folks who watched them when the movies were first produced. (When my partner first came along, I didn’t have a DVD player or even basic cable TV. We clearly had different priorities back in the day…)

      Like

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