10 Things Technology Has Rendered Useless
Technological advancement is a great thing. What would we do without it? A few examples from GuySpeed Headquarters: If we didn’t have email, we’d be writing messages to each other in No. 2 pencil or possibly, sending notes via homing pigeon. Without our iPhone, it would be a rotary phone, of course; or two cans connected with a piece of string. Imagine conference calls! Or this laptop with all that great ‘Net porn on it? Yes, sir. Life would sort of suck without technology.
For all you gents that read GuySpeed, there are tons of things we think about daily, though, that technology has basically rendered useless or worthless -- which is also a major pain when you think about it. Here’s a list of 10 things that tech has taken a crap on:
If you’ve never heard the Jerky Boys series, we’d suggest you click on that hyperlink, like, right now. Aside from being hilarious, they’re an antiquity of sorts -- comedy-minded guys who were able to prank call just about anybody in the phonebook because of society’s lack of caller ID and call waiting, even. These days, if you try to prank somebody with a phone, it usually involves you videotaping them while you’re having sex with them; or ‘accidentally’ sending them a picture of your junk (cough cough Anthony cough Weiner).
We’d suggest you re-read Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ on your, uh, Kindle, because that will be the dictionary definition of ironic. Yes, Bradbury's famed story of a society where book-burning is the norm has pretty much come true. No one really ever needs to buy a print book or magazine anymore, because there’s an e-version of it that you can download for a nominal fee to your iPad, Kindle, or Nook. Yes, someday, you’ll be walking down the street and see somebody rolling a cigarette using a print page. Upon closer examination, it will actually be a Joe Camel ad from a magazine -- and you will die of ironic overload right there on the spot.
If you have a computer, a credit card, and half a brain, you can order food all day long on this thing called the Interwebs via services like Seamless, GrubHub and Delivery.com. That’s right, jackass: You no longer have an excuse NOT to order food for the entire fraternity, your drunk roommate, or your lady friend. Technology has made your whining impossible
Every day we go on Facebook or Twitter and see some new ne’er-do-well complaining about the president taking away our privacy. Guess what? You gave up the right to complain about your privacy the second you posted that idiotic rant on social media. Unless you live in an airtight bunker, lined with shelves of Campbell’s soup and firearms, your privacy is just going to continue to plummet until at some point, you’ll be stark naked, swinging your man meat around on Instagram, and THAT will be normal. Yep.
Boo-hoo, all you musicians who aren’t making the money you did in 1974 (which you mostly snorted up your nose anyway). The digital-download and streaming-music era has rendered your art practically worthless -- except for the good ‘ole folks that still purchase albums or songs on iTunes. If you think about it, one part of the music-listening process that has been rendered useless by technology is hearing them all the way through. Compact discs and iTunes pretty much screwed up the process, allowing people to skip around, create ‘Genius’ playlists, and the like. Now music fans only know a few songs by an artist and have no idea what album they were on. It’s sort of sad, actually. Imagine growing up and never listening to the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club Band’ or the Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ all the way through. Yikes.
Remember those days when you’d stub your toe on the side of the bathroom door, and in your bumbling haste to correct your fall, you’d trip and fall face first into the toilet? Yeah, we do, too. But the difference between then and now is that your little brother didn’t have an iPhone video camera at the ready behind you to capture your fateful slip, trip, and fall into the commode. Everything we do or see that’s interesting these days seems to be captured on video -- whether it be goats screaming like humans or just your pratfalls. Ben Folds Five’s 1995 tune ‘Video’ has come true: “We’re counting the days down/’til the day when we live in a video/I’ll be stone-faced and pale/you’ll pout in stereo.”
Back in the day -- and we’re talking, like, 1973-99 or so -- it was a ‘thing’ to whip out your lighter at a rock concert when the first chords of the ‘slow’ song were played. Songs like this included KISS’ ‘Beth,’ Bad English’s ‘When I See You Smile,’ and the aforementioned Ben Folds Five’s ‘Brick.’ Even if you weren’t the one at the show lighting up a cigarette or that weirdly shaped pipe, you had a lighter at the ready for that moment. Nowadays, glowing iPhones and iPads -- being held up, so somehow, somewhere, a girlfriend or relative can hear a scratchy version of a live song -- have taken the place of the pocket torch. Sorry, fire. We are sooo over you.
We were at our friends’ place (they’re relatively young parents) recently and had a chance to catch some of the Saturday morning cartoons that the kids were watching these days. It was like a ‘shock and awe’ scenario -- the show was, like, 10 minutes long and full of computer-animated representations of what humans and animals look like. We were at the same time disgusted and highly interested; what happened to Saturday morning cartoons? Well, aside from computers and ADD, the cartoons just didn’t look like the cartoons we grew up on. These were much granier, non-HD images (see ‘G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero,’ ‘Transformers,’ ‘ThunderCats’) that looked like they’d been drawn by a guy on his fifth whiskey at two in the morning. We suppose these modern cartoons will drive fewer kids to drink.
Runners -- a few of our relatives included -- just love to talk smack about how far they run in a week, how long it took them to do it, and all the big races they’re training for. It comes with the territory. And technology has made it absolutely impossible for non-runners to (a) call them out on their facts or (b) ‘pretend’ like we are as athletic as they are. All you need to do is get any number of apps that track your running speed and distance -- or just go on Google Maps and plot out a route. There’s no such thing as ‘Wow, honey, I’m soaked from that 10-mile run’ anymore, because she knows it was only an 800-meter sprint to the bodega to get a six-pack of beer.
Look, we think it’s great that our single friends can get so many dates these days on their social-dating apps and paid-for relationship sites -- but technology has done a number on the process, which a lot of individuals have tried to cut corners on. Take former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, who we alluded to earlier. Not knowing how to properly use Twitter, he sent a naughty pic to a girl who wasn't his wife, and he will forever be a ‘member’ (wink wink) of the Google Image Search Hall of Shame. Then, of course, there’s sexting -- i.e. sending pictures of your privates to potential mates (back in our day that used to be called ‘sexual harassment’). You can figure out how fat or skinny someone looks by just clicking on their Facebook profile. Whatever happened to getting set up on a blind date; or just walking up to a girl and saying, ‘Hey, is there a mirror in your pants?’