5 Technological Advancements That Are Getting Worse With Time
Technology advances exponentially, and at this point, it’s no longer a choice whether you want to keep up with it or not. Unless you want to live in a remote cabin, petting an old bloodhound with hip dysplasia, you’re at the beck and call of the next household item that suddenly demands access to your Wi-Fi. We were told this was going to fix everything, and now alarm clocks cost $300. It’s enough to make you dream of building and activating an EMP for 12 hours of peace. I like a glowy trinket as much as the next guy, but some of these things are rapidly becoming more curse-adjacent.
Here are five pieces of tech that are just getting worse as time goes on…
Email had a good run. Before it took over, we were left to lick bits of angled paper should we want to send anything that wasn’t compatible with a phone call. Correspondence! With immediate delivery! Suddenly, it seemed like the future of communication, a development on par with the telegraph, and it was. Unfortunately, it was also the opening of a detestable portal to constant badgering from every angle.
Nowadays, finding an actual, functional email, purposely addressed to you, requires sifting through shit like it’s your first day on a hog farm. Clicking your email app blows a conch shell for every website you’ve ever looked at, even accidentally, to scream at you like an unhinged bazaar merchant. In order to check for important correspondence, you first have to endure fake sales and cart reminders fed via gavage like you’re a foie gras duck.
I remember when the most common use of the term A.I. referred to the behavior of Halo enemies. Its advancement there did serve to pulp my virtual being, but left my day-to-day life blissfully excluded. Now, not so much. We all heard the hard sell of how much A.I. was going to improve human life, and we imagined probably the same thing: a grilled-cheese-making robot that we could cover in cool stickers.
Instead, not-shockingly, A.I. seems to have sidelined convenience in favor of taking over things that were going just fine before. Oh, sick, you developed artificial intelligence that can make art? Me doing my own taxes while a robot paints in the background is the reverse of how I was told this shit was going to go. I thought I was supposed to be the one with more time for hobbies.
I feel like I don’t even need to grace this with a complicated breakdown, as our natural emotions make us perfectly aware that these things aren’t helping. When was the last time you opened Twitter or Instagram with a feeling of excitement or suspense? Even a single good meme or cute picture isn’t accessible without experiencing a massive hit of psychic damage.
You were supposed to be able to more easily stay in touch with your distant family. Now, you’re still not talking to them, but because of their belief that DC pizza restaurants have a kid cage next to the San Marzano cans. Not to mention that, for better or for worse, they’ve become a primary source of day-to-day information for people, a real celebration of quantity while quality wheezes aspirated blood into the online dust. It’s like installing a water fountain for the thirsty to drink from, but then informing them that 90 percent of the time it’s going to dispense pee.
Blockbuster drowned, and we cursed its last breaths. We had a new best friend, we explained, and its name was streaming video. Why would we troll their blue-yellow aisles for movies that weren’t available when we could access so much cinema for a couple dollars a month? What were we losing, outside of an impulse-bought Buncha Crunch?
I remember when people first started cable-cutting, watching their monthly budget balloon. We thought we’d finally extricated ourselves from the spider-web of cable packages and pay-per-view. Now we know that we, at most, got a couple years of respite while they adjusted their aim. Today, if you want to watch your favorite shows, you’re stuck playing Whac-A-Mole at $10 a swing, trying to find where the fuck the middle three seasons of a series are, preferably in English. That is, if you’re lucky and they haven’t deleted the series entirely to save on royalties or taxes.
Whatever Website I’m Currently On
Boo! This sucks now! It’s nowhere near as good as the three specific positive memories I have of it from when I was 17!
Eli Yudin is a stand-up comedian in Brooklyn. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @eliyudin and listen to his podcast, What A Time to Be Alive, about the five weirdest news stories of the week, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever else you get your podcasts.